HMRC, also known as Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs or HM Revenue and Customs, is the United Kingdom's tax collection agency. This agency determines and collects taxes for the UK, operates as the overseeing agency for some national regulations and also administers some benefit programs. As a government agency with wide-reaching powers and responsibilities, it isn't surprising that HMRC receives a lot of calls every day.
People call HMRC for a range of reasons, including:
HMRC is a massive agency and has many different departments. Before calling, it's a good idea to verify that you have the correct phone number for the division you need to contact. In addition, different divisions have their own hours of operation, so you will want to verify those as well.
Before calling, make sure you have the following handy:
HMRC's phone systems use voice recognition to get you to the right division or representative. When you call, He asked to say in a few words what your concern is. Try to be plane and specific in what you have to say. For example, if you are calling ceased family members tax issues, you could say "deceased" and be transferred to the appropriate department.
If you are unable to use standard phone systems, HMRC does provide adaptive technologies as well, including those that meet the needs of deaf and hearing-impaired callers.
Many people in the United Kingdom are critical of the service provided by HMRC customer service representatives. This isn't entirely surprising, as many people who call HMRC are perhaps upset or confused about tax, regulatory and other less-than-pleasant matters.
Complaints tend to focus on the training of HMRC customer support representatives, who may provide poor or inaccurate advice, particularly in situations where the UK's tax codes and processes don't always apply to a caller's unique situation.
That said, there are other reports of HMRC customer service representatives providing excellent support and advice to those who call.
HMRC representatives can answer questions about areas under the HMRC's authority, including personal, commercial and business taxes. The HMRC can also work with taxpayers and their representatives on tax debt payment options, appeals and other relevant issues.
HMRC customer service representatives work on behalf of the United Kingdom, not individual taxpayers. In situations where complex tax or legal advice is needed, individuals and business owners are advised to hire a qualified professional.
Citizens of the United States, who may be subject to U.S. income taxes, cannot receive assistance with U.S. tax matters from HMRC. These individuals will have to speak to the Internal Revenue Service directly or contact an IRS enrolled agent in the United Kingdom who can provide advice and help.
If you get off the phone with the HMRC and feel that you did not get your questions answered or that your issue is still not resolved, don't let your frustration get you down. You still have options available to you.
The first thing to do is to review any notes you took during the call. If you did not take notes, write down or type out what you remember from your conversation. These details are useful as you escalate your case.
Next, call HMRC back. Not all customer service representatives are created equal and the next person you talk to might prove to be more helpful.
If your call does not work, seek out a different way of contacting HMRC. For general questions, HMRC is active on many social media platforms and their specialists may be able to provide you with an answer. Otherwise, send a letter to HMRC explaining your concerns or asking your question. Information on street addresses can be found on HMRC's website.
HMRC also maintains a separate department for complaints. If you can't get a resolution through HMRC's normal channels, filing a complaint might be your best option.