June 26 2015.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced it is allocating £45 million to improve customer service, as it released statistics which showed an inconsistent call handling performance in 2014-15. The allocation is paying for around 3,000 additional staff to join customer service teams, on top of around 2,000 staff who are being moved over from other parts of HMRC to help with the tax credits deadline and letters and forms.

HMRC receives more than 60 million calls a year, peaking around key deadlines such as the 31st of January for Self-Assessment, and 31st of July for tax credits renewals. The statistics show that while 73 per cent of calls were answered last year, service standards were inconsistent across the year, with some months falling well short of HMRC’s 80 per cent target. The figures also show that in some months as many as one in five customers heard a busy tone and could not join a phone queue.

Lin Homer, HMRC Chief Executive, accepted that standards had not been good enough and outlined the actions that HMRC has already taken to improve customer service, including recruitment and investment in technology. “Despite our best efforts, our call performance hasn’t been up to scratch and we apologise to all those customers who have struggled to get through to us.”

Read more on this HERE.