Harriett Baldwin questions the Government on the closure of an HMRC hotline in the run up to the self-assessment tax return deadline and asks how people who are trying to get their taxes right can contact HMRC.
T7. Merry Christmas, Mr Speaker, to you, your team and the Treasury team. Between now and the next Treasury questions, millions of our constituents will be required to file a self-assessment tax return, yet this week we learned that His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has suddenly shut down its hotline for the majority of people and their advisers. Our most law-abiding citizens are trying to get their taxes right, so what advice can my hon. Friend the Financial Secretary to the Treasury give to them as to how they can contact HMRC? (900764)
I thank my hon. Friend the Chair of the Treasury Committee for raising this issue with me. We want to ensure that people can be served accurately and effectively through the most efficient channels. Two thirds of calls to the self-assessment line could be resolved online, through other channels—I highly recommend the app, for example. Last year, HMRC received over 3 million calls on three issues—resetting a password, getting a tax code and getting a national insurance number—that could easily be resolved digitally. People will still be able to call in, but we need to redeploy resources away from very simple questions towards those most in need, which will help those who are digitally unaware.