NAO: HMRC still failing on customer service

Kashflow logo
Share this content

HMRC's customer service is "poor value for money" , according to an NAO report that estimated delays in answering calls were costing taxpayers around £136m a year.

The NAO report on HMRC customer service acknowledged the tax department's attempts to restore service quality from the lows of 2010, but said it still had a long way to go to be on par with other governmental organisations. 

As people have "no choice" in dealing with the Revenue, it's HMRC's duty to provide the public good customer service, the NAO said.

Some 20m calls went unanswered by HMRC in 2011-12, with an average of 74% of all calls answered -  described by the NAO as a "low level of service". 

However, the number of answered calls could be overestimated, as calls are deemed answered even when put through to an automated message.

HMRC spends roughly a quarter of its expenditure, £900m, on customer service each year.

"Despite some welcome improvements, HMRC has acknowledged that its performance in providing services to the public has been unacceptable." said head of the NAO Amyas Morse.

Please Login or Register to read the full article

The full article is available to registered members only. To read the rest of this article you’ll need to login or register. Registration is FREE and allows you to view all content, ask questions, comment and much more.

About Rachael Power

Your friendly, neighbourhood community editor. 

Twitter: @rachpower10 


Please login or register to join the discussion.

19th Dec 2012 12:50

£136m wasted

three cheers to margeret hodge again I quote

"I find it totally unacceptable that HMRc uses COSTLY(cable and wirless) ) 0845 numbers and charges people for the privilege of waiting for the department to pick up"


obviously Lynn Homer and her clique ignore agents and only listen to mps like margeret hodge and the NAO.


in the meantime cable and wireless profit to the tune of 136m.

Thanks (0)
19th Dec 2012 15:04

HMRC doesn't have customers

If so I'd shop around for a better value for money home for my hard earned tax and NICs

Thanks (1)
21st Dec 2012 13:57


A target of 90% to answer calls is what they are aiming for.

Would it be ok for me to have a target of 90% tax returns filed by 31st January each year?

I wouldn't mind at all if all that happened was Margaret Hodge came round and gave me a ticking off!

Perhaps if we 'fined' HMRC £100 every time they failed to answer a call, that might wake their ideas up a bit. It is certainly supposed to work for the rest of the country.

What a disgrace!!

Thanks (0)
21st Dec 2012 22:19

Now. How about a human answering the phone?

Any taxpayer wanting to contact HMRC (HM must shudder everytime someone puts her name to this inane organisation) has to sit through over 5 minutes of recorded crap, during which they treat ordinarily intelligent individuals like childish morons.  And these are the same people who in the instance they expect to know as much about tax law as the so called experts in their own department.

The only saving grace is that they are better at communication than the IRS in America, but the chimps in London Zoo could achieve that!

Thanks (0)