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Published on 30 May 2024

Public Accounts Committee inquiry: HMRC customer service


LITRG has submitted a response to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into HMRC customer service. 

Three symbols on a screen - a smiley face, a neither happy or sad face, a sad face, and a finger pointing at the screen.

LITRG’s response builds on a previous submission to the Committee in October 2023 and highlights that although digital services can be greatly beneficial to both taxpayers and the tax system, there are issues with HMRC’s current suite of digital services and we are not supportive of HMRC’s attempts to force people to use digital channels before they are of a sufficient standard to meet their needs.

The response examines HMRC’s decision to permanently close and restrict the self assessment helpline and the reversal of that decision 24 hours later. We conclude that HMRC’s plans were too aggressive, were not built on a solid understanding of taxpayer needs and did not have a robust evidence base. Our response also draws out points made in the recent NAO report on customer service. That report echoed many LITRG concerns including those we have made about the data used by HMRC to make decisions.

The remainder of our response examines what steps HMRC need to take next in developing their digital strategy to ensure that they are building good quality digital services, encouraging people to use them and supporting them to do so. It highlights the need for a clear provision for those unable to use digital services and recommends any strategy should be published so external stakeholders can hold HMRC to account. 

You can read LITRG’s full submission using the link provided. A link is also given to the original call for evidence. 

Victoria Todd
Head of LITRG

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