The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has welcomed today’s announcement that up to 1,000 additional people are to be recruited in the next eight months to improve the percentage of calls answered first time in HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) call centres.
The CIOT and its Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) have been pressing for action in this area for a number of years.
CIOT President Patrick Stevens commented:
“This is very welcome news. Poor service levels and unacceptable delays at HMRC call centres are issues that members continually report to us and which we have consistently highlighted to HMRC, particularly in the last year through the ‘Clasper initiative’, which is helping HMRC to make good progress in a number of service areas1.
“It is good that HMRC have listened to our concerns and are acting to improve things.
“We understand that the funds have been made available by reprioritising resources. We trust that HMRC will ensure that the welcome expenditure on call centres does not detract unnecessarily from services elsewhere.”
LITRG Chairman, Anthony Thomas said:
“Improving service at call centres is an important way to make the tax system easier to understand and use for ordinary taxpayers.
“Of course there is a long way to go on all kinds of initiatives to get HMRC working as we would all like to see it but this is a big step in the right direction.”
Notes to editors
- The tax professional bodies and the tax charities have been working with HMRC to help identify areas of HMRC’s service for improvement since September 2011. This joint project was set up in the wake of the Treasury Committee’s report in July 2011 which was critical of aspects of HMRC’s service. The project is usually known as the ‘Clasper initiative’ after the HMRC chairman who chairs the project group, though it is officially termed the Joint Initiative on HMRC Service Delivery (JIHSD). A new joint statement covering progress to date on the Clasper Initiative will be published today at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/index.htm
- The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) to give a voice to the unrepresented. Since 1998 LITRG has been working to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes.