It is reported that tax staff are being taken on to work in the evening and more online services introduced in a bid to improve performance at HMRC as it emerged that only half of calls were answered successfully between April and June 2015. HMRC are apparently struggling to cope and although there has been improvement in recent months, taxpayers are being urged to contact the Revenue online rather than by phone to avoid huge waits.
In connection with this we are informed that taxpayers who are fined for filing their tax return late or making mistakes may have their penalties reduced or cancelled if their calls to HMRC have gone unanswered. The suggestion comes after it emerged millions of people may have filled in their tax returns incorrectly because HMRC is failing to answer their calls. In the 2013-14 tax year HMRC found that more than 90,000 people made “careless or otherwise not deliberate” errors on their tax returns, while a further 15,000 made mistakes it classed as “deliberate”. HMRC have apparently been willing to write off late penalties for thousands who were able to provide a reasonable excuse for missing the self-assessment deadline. HMRC will work on a case-by-case basis but they have said that if you phoned them and couldn’t get through they would take that into account. Therefore if you have suffered penalties and have tried to query a point with HMRC please contact us if you would like our assistance in trying to reduce/mitigate the penalties levied.