HMRC trialling seasonal Self Assessment helpline

HMRC has said it will pilot a new seasonal model for Self Assessment (SA) helpline, to prioritise helping those with urgent queries.

For three months from 12 June 2023, HMRC will trail directing SA queries from the helpline to the department’s digital services, including its online guidance, digital assistant, and webchat.

This will, it said, free up 350 advisers to take urgent calls on other lines and answer customer correspondence. HMRC explained: “If focused on urgent calls these advisers will answer around 6,600 each day, ensuring more customers who really need to speak to an adviser can do so.”

Most SA customers use HMRC’s online services, with 97% filing online.

The helpline will re-open on 4 September 2023, so customers can receive expert support in the 5 months running up to the deadline on 31 January 224.

HMRC revealed the SA helpline receives far fewer calls over the summer, with calls around 50% higher between January and April compared with June to August.