Need to contact HMRC? Follow our tips
HMRC’s telephone lines are often busy and may be more so in the run up to ‘peak’ tax return filing time – 31 January. If you are struggling to get through to them, read our hints and tips.
In the run-up to 31 January, one of HMRC’s busiest times with the peak season of filing self-assessment tax returns, it is worth remembering what you can do if you need telephone support from them.
Below is a selection of our top hints and tips – including how to access extra support if you have particular needs:
- Some times of the day and year are busier than others and you may find yourself listening to music while on hold in a queue before you are put through to an adviser. Most of HMRC’s lines are open 8 am to 8 pm weekdays and 8 am to 4 pm on Saturdays. If you can avoid:
- the lunch hour,
- just after 9 am, and
you should find the waiting time shorter. Try calling at 8.15 am, between say 2 pm and 4 pm during the week, or for some lines, you could try Saturday.
- If you have a speech impairment, are deaf or hard of hearing or need the help of an adviser at a face-to-face meeting, you can check the 'dealing with HMRC' pages.
- You can now email HMRC about various matters and avoid using the telephone altogether – for example, to tell them a change of name or address. Also, if your tax code for the present year is wrong, you can contact them by email.
- You can, of course, still write to HMRC, but it will take longer to get a reply. When writing, make sure you quote your tax reference number (National Insurance Number or self-assessment reference number) and head your letter with the subject, for example ‘TAX CODE QUERY’ (this will improve the time it takes to process your query). Keep a copy of the letter for your records. You can also use the ‘Where’s my reply’ service to find out broadly how long it will take to get a response from HMRC.