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SA support survey: So far, so good

4th Jan 2012
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Both HMRC and commercial software developers dealt reasonably well with support calls before Christmas, but now that the January Self Assessment season has kicked off in earnest, will they continue to do so?

AccountingWEB and TaxCalc are running a survey in the run up to the 31 January deadline to assess how well tax payers and agents are being supported during the time of maximum stress.

Out of 10 agents who had called their dedicated HMRC helpline, only one respondent registered less than 10% satisfaction, and that was for a time to pay request that we will have to assume was turned down.

All the other calls were dealt with in less than 5 minutes and all of them resulted in 70%+ plus ratings for resolving the specific issue and satisfying the user’s expectations.

The main SA Helpline took fewer calls from AccountingWEB members, and took longer to handle them (between 5 and 20mins), but resulted in similarly strong approval ratings.

Worryingly, however, seven of the reports we received were to do with online filing rejections, error codes and acknowledgements. Most of these episodes were resolved with 80-100% satisfaction ratings, but the trend is somewhat worrying at this stage of the month. Have you had more than the usual amount of rejected returns this year?

Compared to HMRC’s helplines, more than twice the number of AccountingWEB members turned to their software suppliers for support during the past month. Four out of five software support calls were dealt with within 5mins, and more than half resulted in 100% satisfaction ratings. 

So, a reasonable performance from both public and private branches of the SA support profession - but will they keep up the good work in January? If you have had an occasion to contact either HMRC or your supplier’s support lines, please help us monitor their performance by taking part in the Self Assessment support survey. There will be a prize draw at the end of the month for an Apple iPad.

While the focus of this survey is on the SA workload, the spectre of iXBRL is ever-present. Nine of the reports we received concerned Corporation Tax, and four specifically mentioned iXBRL. In contrast to Self Assessment, the length of these calls averaged more than 10mins. Once January is out of the way, the survey results suggest that both software developers and HMRC will continue to have a significant workload on their hands with Corporation Tax returns.

Replies (2)

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By halesir
04th Jan 2012 14:10

HMRC Web Site

2pm Weds 4 Jan - got on Web Site but can't log in to HMRC On Line Services!! Anyone else got the same problem or is it just me?

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Nigel Harris
By Nigel Harris
11th Jan 2012 20:49

So far so good

The main thing I have noticed so far this year is that we have very rarely had to use one of the published HMRC "workarounds" this year - so far. Looks like the software is getting better - or the system has bedded down at last.


Of course, that probably means SA is about to be replaced by something completely different. Remeber you read that here first when the Chancellor announces it in the Budget!!

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