HMRC's 'woeful' phone service is only going to get worse
Those numbskulls at HMRC have announced plans to close 281 tax inquiry centres which means their service is going to worsen considerably. Bearing in mind that a watchdog for MPs already called their phone service "disgraceful", this is bleak news.
HMRC have already been slammed for costing callers £136 million a year through delays in answering calls, and a quarter of the 79million calls made to the tax office were not even answered, despite the fact the government has spent £900m in trying to improve the service.
The Commons public accounts committee slated a "woefully inadequate and unambitious" new target to answer 80% of calls within five minutes (way below industry standards) and getting rid of 1,300 staff isn't likely to make things better.
Lin Homer, HMRC’s chief executive, defended the move, saying: "HMRC will provide a more modern and accessible service that will target the right support to customers who need it, where and when they want it."
However, Jane Moore from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales, said: "We can see why the Revenue need to use their resources efficiently but we are concerned about the closure of Enquiry Centres. There are lots of reasons why people like to drop into a tax office and see a person."