HomeTony TalksLetter or Phone: Should HMRC cater for you?

Letter or Phone: Should HMRC cater for you?

In my last blog I pointed out that in the quarter to 30 June 2019. HMRC received 4.5 million letters, that’s 1.5 million pieces of post every month, from taxpayers in the UK. To me this highlighted how despite the increase in the digital agenda taxpayers needed were still defaulting to a pen and paper and the red box at the end of the street to contact HMRC.

Not exactly digital is it?

But sad accountant that I am, I looked again at HMRC’s customer (Their word not mine so please don’t write in) service performance figures for April to June 2019 and guess what it detailed, that 12.3 million call attempts were made to HMRC in the three months with a frankly appalling  46% of callers waiting more than 10 minutes and please remember this timing excludes any time spent listening to an automated entry which probably adds another minute to the mix.

HMRC want to cut costs so they are driving the digital agenda for all it’s worth which is not exactly a bad thing and they love to point out all the good news they can lay their hands on like, how many Tax Returns are filed online as opposed to paper whilst never explaining how incredibly difficult they have made the paper process.

They do this because it justifies that they spend their budget on all things digital in the hope that we will all succumb and start using webchat or email as the norm which is fine for millions of us but for all of us?

4.5 million letters and 12.3 million telephone calls just goes to show that millions of UK taxpayers for whatever reason don’t want to digitally engage and does that mean they should be disadvantaged? Does that mean they should be made to settle for a second class service? No, of course not but are they actually getting a second class service by default?

I think the figures speak for themselves.

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