HMRC is making a temporary change to the Agent Dedicated Line for accountants and tax agents to help reserve capacity on the line specifically for one-to-one support at the start of the tax year.
For six weeks between 17 April and 2 June, the Agent Dedicated Line (ADL) will only deal with calls relating to self assessment late filling penalties and appeals, and PAYE coding enquiries.
For all other enquiries tax agents and accountants will have to use online services or the main helplines.
HMRC said that calls would be answered on the general helplines but it could take ‘longer than usual’.
The agent dedicated line will not answer any progress chasing calls so as to prioritise the ‘best possible service to all customers at one of our busiest times’.
Richard West, director of personal tax operations at HMRC, said: ‘To make sure we can give the best possible service to all customers at one of our busiest times, we’re making a temporary change to our Agent Dedicated Line.
‘It’s particularly important at the start of the tax year that we reserve capacity to support agents who need one-to-one help with enquiries they have about self assessment late filing penalties and PAYE coding notices issued in 2023/24, and that’s what these changes will achieve.
‘We encourage agents and customers to use our online services, which are quick and easy to use.’
HMRC said it was ‘continually updating and improving digital services’. Improvements include a new YouTube animation on the Income Record Viewer (IRV) which can be passed on to clients to show them how to authorise IRV requests.
• Income Record Viewer – check your clients pay and tax details, employment history and current year tax codes
• HMRC’s Service dashboard – you can check our current processing times and services levels for post and online requests
• Where’s my reply tool – find out when to expect to get a reply from HMRC for queries and requests
• Agent Services Account – lets you include tax services onto your account such as Making Tax Digital for VAT (MTD) or the Trust Registration Service
• Self Assessment for agents – view your client’s PAYE coding notice, self assessment statements and payments, change clients contact details and much more
Tips for when you must use post
Going online provides instant access to information and is much quicker than calling or writing to HMRC.
HMRC has written to agents telling them that their ‘improved digital services means you don’t have to send us your paperwork. Online forms are less likely to be rejected due to errors or missing information and some of our digital services have help functions built in. Another bonus of going online is it’s better for the environment and reduces the carbon footprint’.
If you do need to post HMRC something these tips will help ensure your mail gets to the right place and can be dealt with as quickly as possible:
• use the right postcode and put the full postcode on the envelope, for example BX9 1AS
• use letter headings so they get to the right department – here’s a helpful list of letter headings specifically for agents and links to find the correct postal address
• put any identifiers such as your client’s National Insurance number and Unique Taxpayer Reference (if they have one) on the first page and make sure they are clear and prominent
• only include supporting documents if they have been asked for or are needed, this includes covering letters
• don’t use the word ‘complaint’ unless it’s a genuine complaint
• make sure any print and post forms are complete and correct, but remember if you can do it online it will be quicker.