HMRC's customer service levels impacted by COVID-19

09 Feb 2021

Data published by HMRC has revealed that its customer service levels have been adversely affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

HMRC stated that this is a unique financial year as the department continues to operate 'at the heart of the government's COVID-19 response'. According to HMRC, the pandemic has 'reinforced the need for a flexible, resilient and responsive tax and customs system'.

The data showed that HMRC's customer support phone lines have experienced a high volume of calls from taxpayers, with waiting times 'significantly longer' than usual. The average wait time amounted to 11:47 minutes between October and December 2020.

HMRC currently holds £65 billion of debt, which is £45 billion more than this time last year. The debt balance at the end of March is estimated to be between £54 billion and £70 billion.

The Revenue stated: 'In these unprecedented circumstances, HMRC is rightly prioritising support for customers in urgent need, taking a sympathetic approach to those struggling to pay their tax or file their returns.'

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Higgisons was formed by John Higgison in Oxford Street in 1965 and was originally part of the Accountancy Tuition Centre until James McHale became managing partner and the firm moved to its City Road premises in 1982.

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