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HMRC Phone Lines December 2021

During December HMRC will trial reducing the hours on some HMRC phone lines. This is so they can catch up with the build up of work accumulated over the past year.

The VAT and Corporation tax phone lines will close on the 3rd, 10th and 17th December 2021.

The bereavement line will be open as usual.

Why are HMRC reducing phone line hours?

Over the course of the pandemic HMRC have prioritised work to protect the essential services and livelihoods of their customer groups who were most in need. Covid-19 supports schemes were also prioritised along with the UK’s transition from the European Union.

We are in a year of recovery and are making solid progress. In the first half of the year, we focused on stabilising our phone services and our tax credits/child benefit services – while we maintained our customs services well within targets and supported the smooth running of the COVID-19 support schemes until they closed in October.  
Recently, we’ve been able to move more resources back into our core tax activities now that the COVID-19 schemes have ended, and we’re adding further capacity through temporary recruits (contingent labour). 

We are now working through the stocks of post that built up over the past year. We are doing this while keeping our helpline service levels and processing stable, and making sure we are prepared for key events in the coming weeks, like the Self Assessment peak and the introduction of EU full customs controls in January. 

Moving forward

By April 2022 HMRC expect to be delivering pre-pandemic performance on their core service lines. They will keep a close eye on the trial and respond to issues as and when they arise.

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