HMRC Complements Telephony With Social Media

HMRC Complements Telephony With Social Media

Many people say that they are not happy when there is a need to Contact HMRC. But usually there are problems to face or questions that need to be answered so they are left with no choice but to dial the number.

Rest assured the people at HMRC are willing to do their best to help their callers or at the very least point you to the correct direction. The number to call is 0870 280 2566. For more information about HMRC Revenue visit their main website at

save-on-tax-using-your-major-childrenSocial media have become an important tool for businesses and HMRC has decided to follow the trend. With a variety of social media accounts you can interact with the agency directly. If you decide to contact them through social media, remember that whatever you post will be publicly shown. It is better to refrain from posting sensitive information. As general as it gets, your tax details are quite too personal to be posted publicly.


Twitter Use

HMRC mentioned that Twitter has to be used for general Q&A sessions only. They said that it should not be used for sharing personal tax information. Customers may ask general questions about a wide range of tax issues. Browsing through the feed will definitely brush up your tax knowledge as well.

HMRC added that the new @HMRCcustomers service in an attempt to improve public service.

As it has gotten creative, the thought of using Twitter will surely complement its already existing telephone systems. But the use of Twitter, cannot be considered as a replacement in any way to phone calls.



Call Volume

If you are particular with the call volume that the Revenue office gets, HMRC gets approximately 70 million calls in a year. A third of that got cut off in 2014 due to heavy call volume. For the lucky ones who eventually got through, the average time to wait was 10 minutes. This was 5 more minutes of wait as compared to the figures the year before that.

sshot-3_thumbIf you call in the early mornings, chances are you will not be cut off as opposed to making afternoon or evening calls.


Other Things

Unknown to most, HMRC remains open on bank holidays. During these times the call wait time is considered minimal. The days, however, before or after a bank holiday or a weekend, doubles the amount of call traffic. It is advised not to do your calling during those times. Also, when the tax deadline is near, the HMRC stays open for limited hours on Sundays.

Should you want to, feel free to provide your comments to the customer service given by HMRC. Give your opinion so that the agency can do things better in the future. You have to, however, agree to respect their terms. Never post defamatory, insulting or disparaging comments as these will be moderated. Instead, give an explanation as to what happened. Do this in a factual way.

Twitter Sets To Enhance HMRC Existing Public Services

Twitter Sets To Enhance HMRC Existing Public Services

HMRC has definitely gotten creative, it has thought of using Twitter to complement its existing telephone systems.

HMRC announced that by using Twitter, it would complement a number of its existing services. It is not considered as a replacement in any way.

Part of its enhancement is the additional capacity of around 1,500 people to answer the calls as it comes in time for January. The first month of each year is when the deadline for self-assessed taxes is observed. With the additional workforce in force, the 70 million calls received per year can become efficiently and better managed. All these have been planned to strengthen the HMRC customer service.


More Than Double

HMRC is very much aware that the average waiting time for the queue in the contact center has more than doubled for the past years. On record, it has reached 10 minutes and 53 seconds for 2014. This was more than twice at the same point in year 2013.

For all its call volume, almost 35% were cut off compared to the previous year’s 20.5%. For calls answered in less than 2 minutes, it was less than half to a quarter already. Both tax inquiry and tax credit queues suffered an increase in call waiting minutes.

Child benefit callers waited nine minutes on an average in 2014. That was almost full 4 minutes more of the amount they waited on in 2013.


Tax And Benefits

According to the Tax Payers’ Alliance, given the complicated tax and benefits systems already being implemented, the delays have become an unfair burden on the shoulders of the taxpayers. The frustration is worth noting.

iStock_000009Estate planningThe need to sort out the 17,000-page thick tax code has required the need for payers to seek help in their tax affairs. The need to call is already a given, but the amount of time to wait is an unnecessary hassle.

According to the alliance, the focus should be on the simplification of taxes for everyone. Doing this will lessen the need to head over the phone to seek assistance and understanding.


Twitter Use

Furthermore on Twitter, HMRC told the taxpayers that instead of the usual route, they could turn to Twitter to ask their general self-assessment queries. This is to not involve the phone time, as they are accustomed to do.

HMRC said that the mainstream use of a Twitter account would complement further the existing telephone and online help.

This initiative has not gotten favourable feedback. Many are saying that they are not keen on posting publicly their tax inquiries for everyone to witness.

It’s like saying that since the helpline is not as effective, let everyone know about your concerns via tweeting it over the air.


Too Personal

imagesMany believe that tax questions are deemed too personal to be relayed on social media. Someone from Public Accounts even consider this move as laughable. It should never be done by a public entity in pursuing their customer-based service.

More so, how can it possible be summarized within the 140-character restriction of the social media platform. UK has a small base of Twitter users. 


General Questions

HMRC though was quick to note that Twitter is to be used for general Q&A sessions with the agency’s 157,000 followers. They added that never should the app be used for personal tax information sharing and discussion.

HMRC added that the new @HMRCcustomers service is just a natural progression from their existing attempt in improving public service. This will allow customers to ask only general questions about a wide range of tax issues.

As general as it gets, questions dealing with taxpayers’ individual situations should never be tweeted to HMRC. And that includes your personal information.