There are millions of people who may have filled their tax returns incorrectly. This was pointed out in a recent study. Part of the main reason was because HMRC failed to answer their calls. This situation has been noted as a disappointment whenever people try to use the HMRC contact number.
Half of the calls from the total volume in the first six months of last year were not picked up. It was equivalent to around 12 million unanswered calls. MPs in charge of the Public Accounts Committee did say that on top of the fact that its performance has gotten worse, HMRC has yet to produce a plan detailing how it plans to address the matter.
As there are still issues with handling calls to the helpline, people are getting frustrated. The response rate in the first half of the year fell by 1.8%. This was down to 74.5% as compared to last year. HMRC says it was expecting to achieve a more consistent performance in the future. The response rate in 2014 was 79%. It was considered one of the better years for call management.
HMRC says that the customer mails are also at a falling level. This has been a result of a much improved call handling, increased efficiency of the online services plus the social media use and its popularity. The current post backlog may not meet the 80% clearing goal but it’s a good improvement. The goal was to clear it in 15 working days.
The fears that the pensioners are particularly impacted are becoming valid. As fewer of them are using the internet, there are chances they are being left behind. They often have the complicated tax arrangements too.
It is now a public knowledge that HMRC has to improve its customer service and fast. It was previously described by the PAC as disappointing and today is even worse. Many critics have considered its performance as a genuine threat to the collection of taxes.
The belief that there is progress on deterring tax evasions and avoidance is not true. The taxman is becoming incapable of running a good service for the taxpayers, concentrating on getting their share of the taxpayer’s income only. The concern on the customer service level is so bad. Many are thinking that this had impacted the collection of tax revenues adversely.
Addressing the Concerns
The government agency is said to be making sure that they are addressing these concerns. They claim that a wide range of actions is at hand to address the raised issues by members. Services are still not within an acceptable level. There are plans to turn that performance around spread over the next two years. The agency is promising significant improvements for both phone and online metrics.
The agency says that it is still a significant challenge to overcome. They are, however, doing everything they can. Gathering feedback and conducting post implementation reviews are helping them a lot. It is evolving into a continuing improvement project to ensure that HMRC creates a much better performance over the years.