Replacement of HMRC's enquiry centres back for review

HMRC is to consult more widely on plans to replace the existing enquiry centre network with a new set of services after an initial public consultation indicated serious concerns.

HMRC proposes replacing its current centres with a new service of specialist help over the phone, supported by a mobile team of face-to-face advisers for those who need the most support.

A consultation earlier this year showed a significant number of respondents expressed concerns about the loss of the enquiry centre network and the impact this would have on those people who may struggle to access HMRC services by phone or online, who include those who do not speak English as a first language, those without telephone access and the deaf.

Other concerns raised include the ability of the proposed HMRC call centres to cope with increased demand and complicated queries, and whether the proposals were primarily about saving money.

HMRC says it is considering the issues in greater detail and is planning a series of workshops and events with taxpayers known to need extra support to make sure the proposed service meets their needs.

In addition, HMRC is also running a five-month pilot to test the new service in the north-east of England, from 3 June 2013 to 31 October 2013.

Diane Tan |Content manager - current awareness, CCH

Diane Tan is content manager, current awareness at CCH, Wolters Kluwer UK

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