HMRC is seeing substantial delays in the processing of self assessment tax returns, it’s being claimed.
A company called RIFT Tax Refunds claims that HMRC efficiency data shows that the time taken to answer a call has increased by over one minute in the last year, while four in 10 customers waiting over 10 minutes. Meanwhile customer complaints have increased by 568 a year.
RIFT says that for those landlords who have to complete self assessment forms, there are now even higher levels of frustration.
The process of registering for self assessment online is currently taking approximately nine weeks, up from two weeks previously. And whilst the issuing of self assessment refunds is currently taking just 14 days, HMRC is allegedly selecting an increased number of taxpayers for security checks. When this happens, the refund process can take anywhere between 10 weeks and seven months.
The company’s chief executive Bradley Post says: “Like many government departments, HMRC had to adapt to an evolving workplace as a result of the pandemic. Their job has been made all the harder due to the continual reallocation of staff to deal with Brexit and Covid related initiatives such as furlough, SEISS and self assessment extension periods.
“However, it’s fair to say that the service levels being provided have become a serious cause of concern … We can only trust that HMRC are doing the best they can in a difficult situation and hopefully it won’t be too long before they manage to return to the time frames specified in their service-level agreement.
“Until then, taxpayers are advised to get their paperwork sorted well ahead of time rather than waiting until the last minute. It’ll help HMRC process everything in good time to meet deadlines, and ensure that you get any refunds when you need them, even if you’re selected for a security check.”
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