HMRC announces temporary closure of its Self-Assessment Helpline
In a bid to encourage taxpayers to use HMRC’s online digital resources, on 9 June HMRC announced the temporary closure of its Self Assessment Helpline (0300 200 3310) for the period 12 June to 4 September 2023.
While this transition offers several advantages in terms of efficiency and accessibility within HMRC itself, it also raises concerns about the impact on individuals who are digitally excluded. While the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, a significant portion of the beneficiaries we seek to help do face barriers to digital inclusion. The closure of the Self-Assessment Helpline can pose challenges for individuals who would typically rely on traditional support channels.
WHAT OPTIONS ARE STILL AVAILABLE TO ME?
If your matter relates to an employment or PAYE query (such as a problem with your tax code):
If your matter relates to Self Assessment (for example help with completing your tax return):
HMRC provides a wealth of information and resources on its website, which can help you find answers to common queries and provide guidance on various aspects of Self Assessment. Some information can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/self-assessment-tax-returns
HMRC offers a webchat service which allows you to engage in real-time conversation and receive personalized assistance for your queries. This service can currently be accessed here - https://www.tax.service.gov.uk/ask-hmrc/chat/self-assessment?_ga=2.150236150.1948395210.1686908986-1942553484.1684915401
If you have a personal tax account, you can find out certain information such as your Unique Taxpayer Reference and your PAYE tax records by logging in.
You can get extra support if your health condition or personal circumstances make it difficult for you to contact HMRC using the above methods. If you need extra support, you can phone HMRC on 0300 200 3300 and ask to speak to the Extra Support Team.
If you prefer written communication, you can send a letter to HMRC addressing your Self Assessment query. You should send your letter to Self Assessment, HM Revenue and Customs, BX9 1AS. Please note, HMRC has recently experienced long delays with the postal system but we understand HMRC has worked hard to reduce the backlog and, although there may still be delays, these should now be much shorter.
For more information on the closure of the HMRC self-assessment helpline we recommend reading this article published by the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group: Read more about this here
If you’re still experiencing problems:
The online services helpdesk can assist if you need help with HMRC’s online services, cannot use them or are having trouble accessing your account. Please note that this line will not give tax advice.
It's important to note that response times may vary depending on the method of communication you choose. HMRC receives a high volume of enquiries, so it's advisable to submit your query well in advance of any deadlines or time-sensitive matters to allow for sufficient processing time. Please do contact us if you are struggling.
Our office will be closed from 24th December to 2nd January. Please still send enquires through to email@example.com for us to respond to on our return.
This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. It will be available for 3 months, but may be extended. For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme
The tax charities TaxAid and Tax Help for Older People can help if you have questions around eligibility and can help with your 2018/19 tax return if you haven't yet submitted it. Go to https://taxvol.org.uk/index.php/coronavirus-support-for-the-self-employed to find out more.
In order to encourage more taxpayer to file online, HMRC will no longer be automatically sending out paper tax return forms. For those unable to file online, paper forms can still be printed off from HMRC's website or requested by phone from HMRC.
HMRC is aware that some taxpayers are being targeted by scammers on the back of the coronavirus epidemic.
If you receive an email or phone call claiming to be from HMRC saying that you are owed a tax refund, which then asks you to click on a link or to give information such as your name, credit card or bank details, it is a scam. Please do NOT click on any links, but instead forward any suspicious emails to firstname.lastname@example.org and send suspicious texts to 60599.
HMRC has more guidance on its website.