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HMRC VAT helplines - different approach needed

29 April 2024 / Neil Warren
Issue: 4934 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , helplines , HMRC powers , HMRC staffing , Policy , VAT
Changing platforms

Key points

  • HMRC recently announced that the VAT helpline facility would be reduced to five days a month an announcement that caused a massive reaction.
  • I think that HMRC made the correct decision to reduce the availability of the VAT service. Many readers will disagree.
  • Get the staff off the telephone lines and into the error correction team is my message.
  • HMRC helplines will never answer quickly and fully. Consider instead my five-point ‘Plan B’ strategy for advisers.
  • My final tip is … use HMRC’s VAT manuals.

I am a big fan of train delays. And let’s be honest there have been plenty of them during the last two years! My logic is simple: firstly I allow myself plenty of time to arrive at my chosen destination – allowing for an average train delay of 30 to 45 minutes; and secondly I always give a...

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