HMRC ticked off by National Audit Office

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report criticising HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for periods of poor customer service last year.

Responding to the report, Ruth Owen, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services said:

We recognise that early in 2015 we didn’t provide the standard of service that people are entitled to expect and we apologised at the time. We have since fully recovered and are now offering our best service levels in years.

Over the past six months we’ve consistently answered calls in an average of six minutes, and have launched new online tax accounts and webchat for everyone, enabling customers to manage their tax affairs wherever and whenever they want.

There’s never been a better or more convenient service for our customers.

HMRC achieved improvements to customer service by:

  • recruiting more than 3,000 additional advisers who can work outside normal office hours when many customers choose to call HMRC
  • introducing more flexible working to deal with large fluctuations in customer demand throughout the year, underpinned by a new telephone system that enables HMRC to move calls around the country in response to demand
  • launching online services that enable customers to manage their tax affairs when and where they want, including by smartphone, with online support such as webchats. The new personal tax account already has more than 1.5 million users and the business tax account more than five million registered users

The proof of the pudding… Readers that have experienced bad service from HMRC should register their complaint. It remains to be seen that service has now “fully recovered”.

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