HMRC ‘keeping taxpayers waiting’

calling HMRC

calling HMRCAs many of us can surely testify, getting to the bottom of a tax query can be a time-consuming exercise at the best of times.

Unfortunately, it would appear that the process now takes even longer than it did a couple of years ago - and that was before hundreds of thousands of us were told we are to lose our tax credits.

Shadow Treasury minister Owen Smith has discovered that it now takes more than four minutes to be able speak to an HM Revenue & Customs adviser by phone, whereas in 2010 it took an average of just one minute and 31 seconds.

Callers to the HMRC helpline are greeted with an automatic message almost immediately but are then given a number of options and often spend time on hold. Many of us have not got the time to wait to speak to an adviser and promptly hang up without having our query dealt with.

Mr Smith said: "With average call waiting times almost trebling in the last two years, this is yet more evidence of chaos and incompetence in government.

"Families with children are facing massive cuts to tax credits and are set to lose an average of £511 a year as a result of the unfair policies of this out of touch Tory-led Government. So it's outrageous that they are waiting longer and often struggling to get through for much needed information and advice.

"These costly delays are also unacceptable for families, pensioners and businesses trying to give HMRC information to ensure they are paying the right amount of tax or getting the correct level of tax credits. With the economy now back in recession because of David Cameron and George Osborne's economic mistakes and complicated changes to child benefit just a few months away, ministers urgently need to get a grip."

If you have a basic query about Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits then this guide might be able to help and save you valuable time left hanging on the phone.