HMRC Enquiry Centres to be replaced with home visits

HMRC are set to pilot a new support service that will provide mobile, one-to-one support for customers who require assistance with their tax affairs.

The service will be piloted in the North East of England, for five months, from June this year. The service is designed to replace HMRC Enquiry Centres and will provide expert advisers who can visit an individual, in a convenient location, to help them with tax–related issues. Alongside this new service HMRC are also making more funding and support available for voluntary sector organisations to help them to deal with customers who visit them for help with their tax affairs.

The new scheme is expected to save customers almost £12million a year in lost time and travel costs for customers and will be more than £13million a year cheaper to run for HMRC than the current Enquiry Centres are.

Lin Homer, HMRC’s Chief Executive, said:
“HMRC is dedicated to providing help to customers who need it. This new service will enable us to tailor that help in a way that works better for customers and is more flexible and affordable than the service we currently provide.”
“We will give a more specialised phone service for customers whose affairs can be resolved over the telephone, and face-to-face help to those who need it, visiting them at a place convenient to them, saving them both travel and time. HMRC will provide a more modern and accessible service that will target the right support to customers who need it, where and when they want it.”

HMRC has stated that the majority of their customers never use the Enquiry Centres, instead choosing to use online or telephone services when help is required.

HMRC has promised that everything possible will be done to redeploy Enquiry Centre Staff within the organisation.