New research conducted by Citizens Advice reveals that many calls to HMRC are taking so long to be answered that people are turning to twitter to complain. More than 11,500 callers have vented on the social network in the last year after spending an average of 47 minutes waiting with no answer, while official HMRC figures suggest the waiting time is actually a mere 10 minutes. Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: "HMRC needs to urgently address the problems many people are experiencing with phone lines." Citizens Advice is trying to help as much as possible, dealing with 295,000 queries in the last year which could have required people to contact HMRC.
Armstrong Watson’s Director of Payroll Services, Karen Thomson, understands why frustrated callers are turning to Twitter to complain to HMRC. The payroll team, working on behalf of our clients, have been trying to speak to HMRC over client tax affairs often to no avail. Thomson says that, whilst she understands there will be peak times such as tax credit renewal or self-assessment queries, holding on the phone for what is sometimes an hour is not acceptable. It not only costs the organisation in telephone calls, but blocks the phone lines to our customers. HMRC need to sort this problem out and quickly. Digital is the new way, but until it is working efficiently the telephone is still going to be the most popular communication method.
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