HMRC telephone numbers – more numbers change for the better

Published on 26 July 2013

LITRG welcomes the move to 0300 numbers for HMRC’s CIS Helpline, SA Orderline and Payment Enquiry line. These should result in better services for taxpayers on low incomes who have for too long faced disproportionate charges. We believe that other HMRC telephone numbers will change over the coming months.

The combination of 0845 numbers, long waiting times and pay as you go (PAYG) mobiles (often used by people on low incomes) can mean that calling HMRC can be disproportionately costly for taxpayers.

LITRG looked at how much it costs to ring HMRC on 0845 numbers in 2006, and welcomed a consultation by the telephone regulator Ofcom in 2011. This consultation document recommended that 0345 numbers be used rather than their 0845 counterparts, giving HMRC the chance to adopt a fairer telephone policy and to help their most vulnerable callers. An 0345 number for the tax credits helpline soon followed, with 0300 numbers being introduced for more helplines in April 2013 and June 2013 .

HMRC have announced that with effect from 23 July there are new numbers for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) Helpline and Self Assessment (SA) Orderline:

  • CIS Helpline – 0300 200 3210;
  • CIS Helpline Textphone – 0300 200 3219;
  • SA Orderline – 0300 200 3610;
  • SA Orderline Fax – 0300 200 3611.

With effect from 24 July, there is also a new number for the Payment Enquiry Line:

  • Payment Enquiry Line – 0300 200 3401.

The old 0845 numbers will be available for approximately 18 months.

The provision of 0300 numbers is expected to result in significant cost savings for the majority of callers to the lines. Callers will only pay the same amount as a landline call to a 01 or a 02 number and the price is the same for calls from mobiles. 0300 numbers are generally included in any discount schemes or inclusive call minutes that claimants may already have with landline or mobile phone operators.

We hope that further announcements will be made in due course for the remaining HMRC helplines. LITRG will continue to push for an improvement in call answering times from HMRC. This is the best way to ensure that callers’ telephone costs are minimised.

(26-07-13)

Contact: Joanne Walker (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)