HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has appointed a dedicated taskforce to process post that is older than 12 months.
This comes amid concerns over the performance of HMRC in recent months and, in particular, amid ongoing reports of significant delays in respect of letters being processed.
Having acknowledged the impact that protracted correspondence is having on taxpayers and agents, it’s intention is to cut the number of cases outstanding as a result of post that is awaiting review, or response.
The taskforce, it is thought, will be created by pulling staff from elsewhere within the organisation, which begs the question ‘is this really solving the problem?’.
Whilst not likely to get your case dealt with any quicker, HMRC have developed an online tool whereby taxpayers can check when they should expect to receive a reply in relation to a particular query.
A push towards online resources
Long-term, it appears that HMRC are going to be doing their utmost to encourage taxpayers to utilise digital services as a means to resolve any queries that they have.
We’ve seen evidence of this already, with the closure of the Self-Assessment telephone helpline between June-September, despite the fact that some taxpayers will be looking for guidance in relation to their tax returns during the summer months.
Frustration for agents and clients alike
The backlog of post, which was exaggerated as a result of the pandemic, is causing frustration for agents and clients alike, as even straightforward queries are taking months to get to the bottom of.
Associate Partner, Caroline Hicks, comments: “We understand how infuriating the incredibly slow response times are for our clients, and we share in that frustration.
“Liaising with HMRC is becoming more and more challenging, whether by post or by phone, but we continue to do our utmost to keep on top of queries or cases that we know are outstanding, and to secure the best outcomes for the businesses and individuals we act for.
“As agents, we find it baffling that HMRC are withdrawing support at a time when its performance is already being called into question.
“We hope that concerns from across the industry will be heard, and that HMRC will make provisions to better support customers.”
How can George Hay help?
If you have concerns about outstanding queries with HMRC, or you are unsure about the most appropriate means of engaging with them on a matter, we can help.
Contact us today to speak to one of our friendly team of experts about your requirements.