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HMRC scales back helpline service


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is scaling back its helpline service, following a ‘realignment’ of its contact centre opening hours.


From 29 November HMRC’s tax helpline will no longer be available on Sundays, as weekend staff are redeployed to peak periods during the rest of the week.


The Revenue claims the changes will enable it to provide a more effective service during busier weekdays and will result in shorter waiting times.


The telephone provision on Saturdays is also being reduced from the end of the month, when the opening hours will change from 8am to 8pm to 8am to 4pm.


There will not be any change to the usual Monday to Friday opening hours (8am - 8pm).


Commenting on the reforms, a spokesperson for the Revenue said: ‘After consulting widely, we have redeployed our Sunday contact centre staff to the busiest periods during the week, driving down waiting times and providing a more effective service when our customers need it most.


‘This does not reduce the number of advisers answering calls. We have simply moved staff from quiet periods to busier ones, enabling us to answer an additional 1.7m calls during peak times.’


However, some experts have warned that the reduced weekend service may make access more difficult for those who work during the week.