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HMRC waiting times

Phoning hmrc

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Is there a thread relating to waiting times when phoning HMRC? I've had a search and couldn't find it, but hard to believe that there wouldn't be one.

I assume everyone else also has a minimum 40 minutes on hold when calling the agent line. Is there any other number which gets answered more quickly? 

Any indications from HMRC that they will recommence service at some point, or indications that they will suspend penalties until whenever they start answering again?

I did read in the news that MPs were upset with HMRC because the official average waiting time has apparently gone up to 12 minutes, which made me laugh. Either they're making up the statistics or I'm ringing the wrong number.

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By Barbara G
08th Apr 2021 14:26

Haven't heard anything about suspending penalties, but I doubt HMRC would agree to that. We find the waiting times to be around 40 minutes. The best time to phone is between 8am and 9am (the earlier the better) Try not to phone on a Monday, people have had all weekend to ponder their issues so waiting times on Mondays seem longer. Another wee thing, if you're asked to take part in a survey, agree to it. I've found if you do that the waiting times are less and you get through to a more knowledgeable respondent. HMRC lines used to be open on a Saturday morning which was the best time to get through, but not sure if they've resumed that yet.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
08th Apr 2021 14:42

What's the justification for asking this anonymously ?

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Replying to lionofludesch:
boxfile
By spilly
08th Apr 2021 15:01

They are an HMRC spy perhaps? Trying to do some research for ‘customer services’ on the cheap?

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Replying to spilly:
By SteveHa
08th Apr 2021 15:22

They are in the wrong place if they expect a positive reply.

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By mbee1
08th Apr 2021 15:17

I've had colleagues with wait times of over an hour recently although I called them at 8am and it was answered straightaway - not even any music it was so quick.

I've got into the habit of always completing the survey and how "c**p their service is.

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Scooby
By gainsborough
08th Apr 2021 15:42

I am still spending 20-40 minutes waiting on the phone but have recently started to get replies to Nov/Dec correspondence, so hopefully some of the backlog is now starting to be dealt with.

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By leeanthonyblackshaw
08th Apr 2021 15:56

I've reverted to writing letters

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Replying to leeanthonyblackshaw:
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By Michael Davies
09th Apr 2021 09:59

Yeah so have I;via HMRC complaints.This worked before XMAS,but not since.It is a disgrace really ,even in time of Covid.I am simply not prepared to wait an hour on the phone.I cannot realistically charge for this time.Annoyingly it is my last piece of work;after which I am walking away.

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Replying to leeanthonyblackshaw:
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By Michael Davies
09th Apr 2021 10:00

Doh.

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By Homeworker
08th Apr 2021 17:41

I seem to wait around 40 minutes every time I call them now, so try and make sure I have more than one query, to make the wait more worthwhile! The agent dedicated line is not manned and calls are simply diverted to the general line now. Surely after a year of this HMRC should be getting staff back into the office, or at least have improved the setup? It feels wrong to charge the clients for the time wasted waiting!

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By mbee1
09th Apr 2021 09:06

I don't understand why home working for HMRC is such a problem. We've all been working from home for over a year now in this practice and everything has worked perfectly well. We can answer the phones, deal with letters and emails and barely anything has changed. A staff member goes into the office twice a week to open the post and scan it. Anything too big to be scanned gets sent by courier to the staff member that needs it. This is the 21st century for goodness sake!

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By Barbara G
09th Apr 2021 09:34

I've just been on with HMRC three times this morning and as for the agent helpline, I would say forget it. 8am I phoned the employer helpline, had to go through the usual 5 minutes of recorded info at the start, but had what I thought would be a complicated issue all done and dusted by 8.20am.

Then thought I would give the agent's helpline a try for my next, very basic, query. Waited 35 minutes to get through and the respondent admitted he had very limited knowledge (to a very simple question) so couldn't help me.

So, phoned the employer helpline, was told waiting time was 11 minutes, got through in 12 minutes, not bad, and a very quick and efficient answer to my very basic question.

I wouldn't recommend the agent helpline at the minute, waste of time. Just phone the employer helpline and agree to answer the 4 short questions by sms. Far better service

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