HM Revenue & Customs

HMRC Helpline waiting times investigated by The One Show

by Berthold Bauer on December 18, 2015

The One Show 17th December 2015 again highlighted time taken by HMRC to respond to queries. This followed an admission from Linda Homer, Chief Executive of HMRC, in October that response times were poor and that only half of telephone enquires made between April & June were answered.

Alternative suggestions to use e-mail & Twitter were found by The One Show to be equally ineffective, and a potential barrier to those not familiar with digital media; notably the elderly and potentially poorer tax credit applicants. A Tweet submitted during The One Show, remained unanswered 30 minutes later at the close of broadcasting.

An independent survey conducted by Which? made 100 calls to HMRC, with an average waiting time of 38 minutes but with 1 in 5 calls taking more than an hour to solicit a response.


  1. There is a plethora of information on the HMRC website that should provide the answer in the majority of instances.
  1. Be careful with general ‘Google’ type searches as this may return non-authorised information sources with non-reliable answers.

(The same as investigating medical symptoms on the web!)

  1. If a direct response is required by HMRC – prepare.

Provide full facts.

Provide evidence to support your question – sales invoices, Contracts, anything pertinent.

Ask a clear-cut question – HMRC are not there to give general guidance.

Say why the information on the HMRC website was unhelpful.

Leave time for a response !

Berthold BauerHMRC Helpline waiting times investigated by The One Show

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