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HMRC’s response times

16 November 2021 / Noel Mooney
Issue: 4817 / Categories: Comment & Analysis
Do as I say, not as I do

Key points

  • HMRC’s online checking service is for individual taxpayers only.
  • Statistics show that paper returns are dealt with faster than online ones.
  • Taxpayers have no recourse for the time it takes for HMRC to respond to their queries – unlike HMRC for example with FA 2008 Sch 36 notices.
  • Does the department have adequate resources to deal with taxpayer correspondence?

When it comes to HMRC response times is it a case of ‘do as I say not as I do’?

HMRC launched its new service in September to enable taxpayers to check online when they can expect a response to a query raised. The timescales for a response are disturbingly long as is the fact HMRC apparently now considers long delays so normal that it has an online checker dedicated to calculating them (

The service produces some intriguing results...

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