Paying the taxman is not something any of us look forward to, but did you know that just trying to pay your tax bill has cost us nearly £100m over the last 18 months! According to the National Audit Office (NAO) our friends at the HMRC have been keeping us on hold to speak to them for as long as an hour in some cases. Last autumn alone the average wait time was 47 minutes on the self-assessment lines. Nearly two thirds of the total cost (£66m) was attributed to those staggering wait times.
According to Gillian Guy (Chief Executive of Citizens Advice) there’s a big chance that many tax payers ended up paying the wrong amount of tax simply because they couldn’t get through to the HMRC about their query. To make matters worse, some tax payers then missed payment deadlines and got the double whammy of a bigger phone bill and a fine!!
HMRC do acknowledge their call centre service failed over the last few years, but that today it’s better than ever. Let’s hope in the future it’s less taxing to speak to them.