21 September 2023

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is making some changes to how they operate the Agent Dedicated Line (ADL).

Within the agent update for September they included the following:

“We recently consulted a range of stakeholders, including professional bodies who represent agents, about how to improve our current performance and service provided on the agent dedicated line (ADL).

The professional bodies who represent agents told us that a dedicated phone line remains top of the list of desirables. We want to reassure you that we remain committed to providing the right level of support for agents and that the ADL will remain available.

However, to meet the challenges we face, while offering the right support to you, we are introducing the following changes from 2 October 2023:

  1. We will no longer operate to a 10-minute service level on the ADL. Waiting times may vary depending on how many agents are calling us at any one time. We know that a high quality of service is important to you, and removing the 10-minute call answering target will allow us to focus on improving the quality of service we offer.
  2. We will be introducing information on call waiting times onto the ADL, allowing agents to make a decision based on that information as to whether to continue to wait in the queue, call back at another time or, if they can, use a digital option to resolve their query.
  3. If you call the ADL with a PAYE query, your will need to choose the PAYE option and your call may be rerouted.

We are also:

  • exploring the introduction of a webchat facility to the ADL — this is in its early stages and we will keep you updated on progress
  • working on further iterative changes on the ADL to improve the efficiency of the service
  • continuing to improve and enhance our digital services for agents such as income record viewer, agent dashboard and the check when you can expect a reply from HMRC tool, so more agents have confidence in using them as an alternative to calling us.

What this means for you

From 2 October, you may wait slightly longer than normal to speak to an adviser on the ADL, especially at peak times.

The introduction of information on call waiting times will help you to decide whether to call back later if the wait times are lengthy, or even try out digital options like ‘check when you can expect a reply from HMRC’, which we will continue to promote in our hold messaging.

Depending on the nature of your query, your call may be rerouted. For example, if you have a PAYE query, you may be passed onto a PAYE adviser. These advisers will only deal with PAYE, so you may be asked to call the ADL back if you have queries on other subjects, like Self Assessment for example.

Our commitment to supporting you

These changes are being made as part of the commitments set out in the HMRC Charter to support agents and their businesses, recognising the value tax agents bring to the tax administration system.

We are also committed to our ongoing engagement with a range of stakeholders including the professional bodies who represent agents, as we work to improve our agent dedicated services.”

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