31 October 2023

On 18 October 2023, the Treasury Committee examined HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) representatives over the work HMRC conducts. The witnesses were Jim Harra, First Permanent Secretary, Angela MacDonald, Second Permanent Secretary, and Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Lead Non-Executive.

Initially, the meeting started with examination over HMRC’s closure of the self-assessment hotline with only two days’ notice. This was done to divert usual queries t the hotline to the digital methods HMRC is keen to get individuals and businesses utilising.

Within the meeting minutes is a key target; Jim Harra said that HMRC needs to “reduce our contact demand by about 30% by the end of next year, compared with the 2021-22 baseline, to be able to hit our service standards with the reduced resources that we have.

To achieve this target HMRC are looking to get more and more taxpayers to self-serve where possible by digital methods. This, in theory, will allow the hotlines to deal with more complex queries and deliver better customer outcomes.

Recently the CIPP has been receiving feedback from members about the quality of HMRC’s customer service offerings. The policy team take these complaints seriously and have been liaising with HMRC to provide this feedback.

The full meeting minutes dive into some very interesting aspects of how HMRC function. Or, if you would prefer, the meeting video is also available.

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