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Published on 13 May 2024

LITRG responds to extra HMRC phone funding announcement

Press release

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has responded to the government’s announcement that it will provide HMRC with £51 million in new funding to support its telephone helpline services1. 

piles of coins with a person holding a green plastic tick mark above

Victoria Todd, Head of LITRG, said:

“The government is right to give HMRC extra resources to better manage demand for its telephone helplines.

“This should be particularly welcome for those taxpayers who can’t afford professional advice and who rely on HMRC to get their tax right. We hope this will mean that taxpayers can have greater confidence that their queries will be answered, and they can continue to comply with their tax responsibilities. 

“Moving more taxpayers online is a laudable aim, but more work is needed to improve HMRC's digital services to support that shift. We hope this additional funding will give HMRC more time and space to continue developing their digital services so that, over time, more taxpayers choose to interact with them online. Forcing people online by closing phonelines was never going to be effective. 

“It is likely going to take HMRC some time to deploy this additional resource, meaning things may get worse before they get better. In the longer term, funding to maintain customer service levels by phone and post needs to continue until such time as HMRC’s digital services are good enough to give taxpayers who can use them the support they need.” 

Notes for editors

  1. Statement from Nigel Huddleston, Financial Secretary to the Treasury (13 May 2024) 
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