HMRC launches new text service

Jan 20, 2023

In order to cut down phone waiting times and provide taxpayers with the information they're seeking, HMRC has announced the launch of a new text service.

Launched on 19 January, the tax support system will send taxpayers links to relevant Government website pages to help answer basic queries.

HMRC will send text answers to people who have phoned HMRC's help services based on the reason they are calling.

Routine requests that will be answered by a text with a website link include locating a unique tracking taxpayer reference number and registering for HMRC online services.

HMRC expects 170,000 calls this month with simple questions in the runup to the self-assessment deadline and recently came under fire from MPs who lambasted its poor call handling record.

Richard West, director of personal tax operations at HMRC, said:

"Redirecting these sorts of queries to online services should help customers find the answer more quickly.

"It also means calls from customers during the current self-assessment peak, whose questions cannot easily be answered online and require help from an adviser, get the appropriate support they need."

HMRC stressed that texts offering an unexpected tax refund in return for personal information are still likely to be fraudulent, so people should be cautious when clicking on any embedded links in similar messages.

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