A new approach to supporting HMRC customers who need extra help

14 February 2014

HMRC has published a briefing explaining how they are delivering a new service for those customers who need help with their tax and benefits.

HMRC are introducing the new service to help customers who need extra help get their taxes and entitlements right. The new service will offer more in-depth support on the phone and a mobile advisory service if a face-to-face appointment is needed. The new service will replace the current network of Enquiry Centres.

The new service involves identifying those customers who need extra help and then offering them the support that suits them best, whether by phone or in person at a place convenient to them. Not only is this a better service for the customers who really need extra help, but it is more cost-effective and flexible for HMRC to administer.

There are several elements to the new service, which were tested and refined in a seven-month pilot in north-east England in 2013:

  • Contact Centre staff will identify when a customer needs extra help, and will direct them to the most appropriate tailored service
  • Specialist phone advisers will take the time to resolve tax and tax credits queries in-depth in one call, accessing experts from different parts of HMRC during the call, so that customers will not have to speak to multiple advisers
  • Where a face-to-face meeting is most appropriate, a new team of mobile advisers will arrange to meet customers at convenient locations in the community, or at their home or place of work
  • HMRC will work more closely with voluntary and community sector organisations and will make it easier for them to direct customers needing extra help to HMRC
  • Introduce simpler systems for authorising third parties to deal with us on a customer’s behalf, such as friends and family members.

The new telephone and mobile advisory service will be introduced across the UK at the end of May. HMRC plan to close their network of Enquiry Centres by the end of June.

The briefing explains more detail about how this service will be introduced across the whole of the UK in the summer.