HMRC service levels - joint professional bodies letter – HMRC response

HMRC have responded to the joint professional bodies letter regarding HMRC service levels. We have reproduced the text of HMRC’s response below:

“Thank you for your letter dated 15 June.

I’m sorry about the postponement of the Representative Bodies Steering Group (RBSG) in June, and the continued problems that have led to you writing to me.  I recognise the impact our performance has on your members and thank you for raising their concerns.

I look forward to the next RSBG meeting on 5th July where I will be able to add additional context to your points raised.  Meanwhile in response to your specific questions please see below.

Response to Public Accounts Committee recommendations 6a-c

In terms of our performance, we made solid progress in 21/22 and this will carry on in 2022/23.

We aim to answer all calls to the agent dedicated line (ADL) within 10 minutes and our data shows that we rarely exceed this. If any agents are facing specific problems, then I would appreciate a bit more information so that we can investigate what has gone wrong.

We are reviewing the ADL position, ahead of a bespoke RBSG to discuss this over the next few weeks.   

In terms of our other tax lines, our average call wait times (year-to-date) have fallen by seven minutes between April 2021 to February 2022 and we are continuing to improve these services, by recruiting and training extra staff.

We have also increased the proportion of correspondence cleared within 15 days by more than 20 percentage points between April 2021 and February 2022.  Our overall customer satisfaction has remained above 80 per cent but we know that there are areas we need to renew our focus to make sure our service levels are where they it should be.

HMRC Performance Dashboard and updated Where’s my Reply tool.

I am pleased to let you know that both the Dashboard and Where’s My Reply is ready to be published on GOV.UK and this will be happening before the end of June 2022. 

We will inform you and other RBSG members when this has gone live.  I appreciate the trial went on longer than expected, but this was to ensure data anomalies were fixed.

Please note that there will be times that the dates shown on the Dashboard and Where’s my reply may increase unexpectedly if we see a large increase in demand.  We will let you know the reason if this happens.  

You mentioned a number of issues that get raised with you most frequently.  The majority of this information will now be included on the agent dashboard, which all agents will have access to.

HMRC Performance statistics

The Quarter 4 and March 2022 Performance publications will be published in July. We will then publish April, May, June and Q1 2022-2023 in August. The equivalent monthly and quarterly performance publications were also published in the summer of last year, so this is not a change from 2021."

We look forward to seeing HMRC's performance statistics later this month. One of our major concerns, which we raised at yesterday's meeting, is the postal turn around for personal tax matters, where we are receiving the majority of feedback from members. HMRC's currently available statistics show that performance here dropped substantially in November 2020 and has not yet recovered. If you have particular examples of problems with HMRC’s service levels please do keep sending them to us at atttechnical [at] att.org.uk or report them on the Agent Forum. Having practical examples is very helpful when discussing these issues with HMRC. 

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