Could HMRC waiting times be set to increase further?

HMRC plans to cut staff by a third by 2021 could lead to even longer waiting times on the phone.

The news comes after several warnings from both MPs and financial services company, PfP.

High waiting times on HMRC phone calls cost taxpayers £97million last year, and news that things could be getting worse will worry the self-employed.

HMRC call times

Aside from frustrating small business owners, longer waiting times could lead to an increase in mistakes, with many people putting down the phone before getting the required advice.

Mistakes - and late payment of taxes - could come with an added sting, as HMRC recently unveiled plans to triple fines for small business late taxes.

A Simply Business poll recently revealed the extent of the dissatisfaction, with HMRC’s service rated bad or very bad by over 50 per cent of voters.

The best and worst time to call HMRC

Despite an HMRC reorganisation and a greater emphasis on digital communication, calling is still unavoidable at times.

Separate research from PfP has found that avoiding 4.30-5pm is a wise move, with average wait times of 12 minutes during this period.

The best time to call is between 8.30 and 9.30am, when average call times drop to around four minutes.

What do you think of HMRC’s service? Let us know in the comments section.

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