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HMRC SA phoneline getting worse

appalling lack of understanding

Didn't find your answer?

Just spent 20 minutes on the agent line trying to get through to someone on the most basic question as to why HMRC have incorrectly amended a clients return.  In the end I said, look lets keep it simple, I have earnings of x with tax liability of y - what do you have?  I was told they are unable to access that information and if I want to take it further to write in.

A few months ago I was told by a client that was employed on the normal HMRC helplines until recently, that they were told they will be taught 20% of what they need to know and the rest they will learn as they go along, and they will learn from their mistakes.

Rant over, but really how did it get this bad and how is this being allowed to continue

Replies (10)

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By Paul D Utherone
06th Jun 2019 18:12

...well generally the service is pretty poor.

I've been trying to get mother's tax code changed to remove a totally erroneous PY underpayment that is deducting £120/mth too much.

Ended up having to say look it's easier if I write. Not quicker though! According to her PTA post received 31/5. Expected to be dealt with by 15/7, so at the minimum another two months with an excessive deduction.


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By K81
07th Jun 2019 08:49

I have noticed for some time that the level of understanding/training has gone down hill on the Agent line, goodness only knows what the non agent line is like.

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By bernard michael
07th Jun 2019 09:56

Non agent's lines
Clients sit and wait & wait - interminably waiting until they cut get off then they come to the brethren, who can use the agents hot line
HMRC are a very good marketing tool for accountants and because the're so bad we look good by correcting them

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By gainsborough
07th Jun 2019 10:43

My favourite was a couple of years ago when I phoned with a non-resident CGT query and the technical officer asked me what CGT stood for....I don't think it was April Fools Day...

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Replying to gainsborough:
By slipknot08
10th Jun 2019 14:57

That's just as good as the time I phoned the IHT (the clue being in the name) helpline with a query about s.105 IHTA (had a fairly complex structure with trust on top and various offshore cos)... went through everything in as clear and concise a manner as possible, and said that I would like some advice in interpreting s.105 in context, to be met with "what Act is that...?"

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By vinylnobbynobbs
07th Jun 2019 11:39

I posted a question some time ago on HMRC's "Working Together" propaganda site asking what training telephone operatives received on the agent dedicated line. Funnily enough, I am still awaiting a reply...............

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Replying to vinylnobbynobbs:
By Open all hours
07th Jun 2019 20:41

Kind of sums up the whole sorry situation. Message ends while still polite.

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By SteveHa
07th Jun 2019 12:54

I think HMRC feel that they can say what they want because they are Anonymous.

Oh, wait. So is this thread.

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By Gone Sailing
07th Jun 2019 16:44

Hmm, well I get 95% of queries dealt with in a reasonable timescale of a phone call.

What's obvious though, and from my experience of once having a proper job, is that they have an overflow system to other depts, given away by the response when they speak, eg. some don't know you are an agent.

Recommedation: be polite, close the call, dial again.

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