Recently, His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced the closure of their helpline starting next month, only to swiftly reverse the decision thereafter. 

According to the reforms announced by HMRC on March 19, 2024, they planned to close the self-assessment helpline annually from April 8 to September 30. 

This meant taxpayers would have to resort to online services during this period instead of seeking assistance via the helpline. 

Details of the announcement

From April 8, users seeking assistance with self-assessment, PAYE, and VAT would be directed to HMRC’s online self-service. 

During this period, callers would hear prerecorded messages instead of speaking to a live agent. 

Users calling from mobile phones would receive an official text message directing them to the self-service. 

From October to March, the helpline would reopen, prioritizing certain calls and directing others to online services. 

HMRC helpline
HMRC helpline

HMRC’s current decision

A significant amount of feedback from taxpayers following the provisional closure announcement forced HMRC to halt the plan temporarily. 

This means the decision to close the helpline for six months annually has been overturned. 

During this period, users can still seek assistance via the helpline, albeit with potentially longer waiting times. 

Additionally, HMRC encourages users to utilize online self-service to expedite processes and avoid lengthy wait times. 

Other considerations

Previously mentioned, dialing the incorrect HMRC helpline could cost hundreds of pounds; hence, it’s reiterated to dial the toll-free number starting with 0300. 

If you require any tax assistance or have uncertainties, seeking help from an accountant might be advisable. 

Especially when faced with urgent matters and unable to wait for the HMRC helpline, a professional accounting team could be a viable option. 

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