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HMRC's Self Assessment Helpline Temporarily Closed

HMRC VAT Registration Helpline to Close

In another telephone line announcement from HMRC, they’ve stated that from 12th June 2023 the Self Assessment Helpline will temporarily close for three months. It is current due to be reinstated on 4th September 2023. Whilst the online service portal is open as usual, we, along with a great many other accountants were surprised to hear this news, given that many people still prefer to speak over the phone when discussing sensitive matters like their income and tax obligations.

What is the Self Assessment Helpline?

This telephone helpline was set up for business owners and their accountants to use to call HMRC with any queries about their Self Assessments. For example, this is the line we’d suggest you call if you have queries about a penalty, if you need to file your tax return late or are having any general problems or queries.

Why is it closing?

As Summer is a time where call volumes are already lower than usual, HMRC have chosen to move their resource from this helpline on to help people in other areas. We have also seen the VAT Helpline close earlier this year to free up their staff to work on a backlog of registrations for example.

In a statement to Accounting Web HMRC said:

“Our online services, including the HMRC app, are quick and easy to use and have been significantly improved. I urge customers to explore these fully before deciding to wait to speak to us on the phone.”

How do I contact HMRC now?

If you need to speak to HMRC about your Self Assessment, there are several online tools to help you or you can write in. If you have more general questions about tax advice, your responsibilities as a business owner and general submissions, now is a great time to speak to a qualified accountant! Remember to keep all of your relevant documents and letters safe and handy, so you can easily find your UTR (Unique Taxpayer Reference) or your NI (National Insurance Number) for online systems.

What’s the knock on effect?

Unfortunately if you need to submit for the 31st July deadline, there will be no phone service from HMRC available to help. Instead, you’ll need to contact them through the online channels above. If you are concerned about this deadline, and would like to speak to a qualified accountant, check out our subscription services below which start from £34pm + VAT.

We asked our Co-Founder, Lucy, what you should do in the meantime

If you have been trying to reach HMRC with questions and queries, and can’t get the hang of their online systems you could try going old school and simply writing to them. However, this might not be a quick process! Now, more than ever, is a great time to get yourself a qualified accountant who you can speak to over the phone and have confidence in that they are there when you need them. All of our accountancy team have direct phone lines, which are picked up by other staff members in the case of an absence or holiday. We can also provide a Zoom call for a more personal touch and our calendar system means you can book in for a convenient time around your working diary.

Lucy Cohen on Self assessment

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