Following poor customer service performance between April 2014 and March 2015, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced an investment of £45million into raising the standard of customer service on offer.

It was recently reported that over the course of the year, 7.2million phone calls to HMRC went through to the much-maligned ‘busy tone’, leaving many customers feeling unsatisfied with the tax authority’s level of customer service. On top of this, communications from taxpayers have increased in areas such as appeals against late self-assessment forms and the impending tax credits deadline.

HMRC’s main plan of attack is to use the £45million investment to hire an additional 3000 members of staff, ensuring that more calls are taken and giving the authority a greater chance to reach their target of 80% of calls being resolved successfully. An extra 2000 employees will be temporarily moved to assist in dealing with tax credits queries until the deadline has passed.

The investment comes from HMRC’s current spending settlement, rather than a request to the treasury for more money and demonstrates the commitment being made to repair public faith in the tax authority.

Speaking frankly on the subject, chief executive Lin Homer said ‘Despite our best efforts, our call performance hasn’t been up to scratch and we apologise to all those customers who have struggled to get through to us.’

In a move leaked from an internal memo, HMRC was recently revealed to be encouraging employees to waive fines given to taxpayers who submitted their self-assessment paperwork late – all in an effort to help with the clearing of a large backlog.

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