Sunday, November 30, 2008

HMRCs dedicated phone numbers for agents

These are the numbers that accountants and other professional agents can call rather than the more generic helplines that taxpayers and the public call.

It's nearly a year since HMRC committed to provide this facility in response to complaints that agents were frustrated and wasting time calling the generic helplines. There are now over 60 distinct lines available - one in each HMRC Contact centre.

When you call an Agent Dedicated Line, you will be:
  • given priority and answered faster;
  • put through to an adviser who has at least 12 months experience; and
  • transferred to technicians if necessary to ensure your query is answered wherever possible during your first call.
This initiative has been building up over the last year and the numbers are for use by agents only. The contact centres are open Monday to Friday 8am - 8pm and Saturday 8am - 4pm except Belfast which is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm.

There is a separate and distinct priority number for agents dealing with tax credits: 0845 300 3943.

I note that in the press release announcing the availability of the last of the agent dedicated lines, (HMRC - Why don't you give us a call?) there is a rather strange statistic. It states that
"over 170,000 agents have called HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Agents Dedicated Lines (ADLs) since they started being rolled out three months ago."
I'd accept that over 170,000 calls have been made to the ADLs. But the suggestion that there are anything like 170,000 agents in the UK strikes me as excessive. I'd welcome suggestions as to how to arrive at a more accurate figure.

1 comment:

  1. The good thing about these lines - SO FAR! - is that you actually get through without having to listen to the whole of EMI's back catalogue. The worrying thing is that they promise to have advisers with "at least 12 months experience;" Would YOU let someone with only 12 months' experience of tax answer general queries? And what experience is it they have? If it's just 12 months at the Contact Centre then we're almost back to square 1!