HMRC focuses on backlog of work by shuttering telephone services

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has announced that it is having to prioritise its essential services by temporarily closing some of its telephone hotlines, following a surge in enquiries during and since the pandemic.

It has said that it is focusing on stabilising its phone service and tax credits/child benefits service at the start of this year and must take extra steps to meet its targets and support those customers most at risk.

During December, the tax authority ran a test on closing their Corporation Tax (CT) and VAT helplines (except bereavement) to assess the impact across three Fridays – using the time gained to clear a backlog of other enquiries.

Based on the success of these tests the CT and VAT telephony lines will see a further “telephony shuttering exercise” on Fridays between the following dates:

• CT – 25 February to 25 March 2022
• VAT (excluding bereavement) – 25 February to 25 March 2022 (excluding 4 March).

Businesses that are reliant on these phone lines need to be aware of this change and prepare for it if they need to contact HMRC about CT and VAT matters on these days.

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