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HMRC Shuts Self Assessment Helpline 

  • 4 min read
  • 21 Aug 2023

With HMRC’s Self Assessment helpline closed, should we say adios to a stress-free summer? 👋

Maybe we’re being a bit OTT, but HMRC has definitely taken the sun, sea, and sangria out of this summer! 

Wait, what do we mean?

Taxpayers have quite literally been ‘put on hold’, after the announcement that HMRC’s Self Assessment helpline will be closed over the summer months. 

Now, they’re left fearing the worst. Chatbots.

Why are HMRC closing their Self Assessment helpline? 

HMRC are hopeful that the temporary closure of their Self Assessment helpline will prioritise customers with urgent queries – but, what about the rest of us? 😢

The helpline’s new seasonal model will run between 12 June and 4 September 2023 that’s nearly a quarter of the year! 😧

If you call the helpline, don’t expect Barbara to pick up at the other end.

You’ll be redirected to HMRC’s digital services instead. 👋

In case you were wondering… 

  • 📉The BBC reports that “In the past five years, HMRC’s customer service staff has decreased from 25,500 to 19,500,” with customers being guided towards digital systems instead
  • “The closure of the helpline should free up 350 advisers to take urgent calls”
  • According to HMRC, “focusing on urgent queries should allow advisers to answer around 6,600 calls each day”

What’s the Self Assessment web chat?

HMRC claim that any query that can be resolved over the phone, can also be sorted via webchat. 🤔 

We hate to shade HMRC, but we’ve spotted a big oversight…

HMRC seem to have forgotten about digitally excluded people, e.g. your grandad who may not be quite as tech-savvy as you.  

Not only have they caused quite a stir, but they have now left many of you wondering, “who can I turn to in times of tax need?”

Well, TaxScouts, of course! 

Whilst HMRC figure out whether the closure of their helpline is going to be a hit, spoiler – it’s not, we’ve got the answers to your questions right here. 🙌

So, let’s get started. 

Do I need to file a Self Assessment tax return?

A Self Assessment, or personal tax return, is filed by taxpayers (or better yet – their accountants) to declare their untaxed income to HMRC.

After filing your tax return, you’ll receive your tax bill (boo!) or you’ll find out that you’re getting a tax rebate (woohoo).

Whilst most people’s income is taxed through a system called PAYE (pay as you earn), there are other reasons why you might still need to file a tax return:

  • If you’re employed and earn over £100,000 a year
  • If you’ve earned over £1,000 from self-employment
  • If you’ve made between £2,500 and £9,999 from renting out a property, after allowable expenses

We’ve got a full list of reasons you might need to file a tax return, in our guide here

Dates to remember:

  • ❌12th June – HMRC closes Self Assessment helpline
  • ✅4th September – HMRC reopens Self Assessment helpline
  • 🖊️5th October – Self Assessment registration 
  • 🗒️31st October – Income tax filing deadline (paper)
  • 💻31st January – Income tax filing deadline (online) 

Download our free calendar, and never miss a deadline again.

All you need is a Google account, so there are no excuses! 🫣

How do I file my tax return?

There are a few ways to go about it. You can:

  • Send a paper tax return to HMRC 📮
  • Go to HMRC’s website and submit one online yourself
  • Use a traditional accountant to file it for you
  • Use TaxScouts😏

If you don’t have time to post a paper tax return, or you’re simply not in the mood, don’t worry!

You can use our tax return service – it’s quick, easy, and stress-free. 🤩

Help me, TaxScouts! 

As well as our tax return service, our website is full of resources to help you with all things tax this summer… as well as autumn, winter and spring – we’re not leaving anyone behind! 💁

Some tips to get you started: 

Payment on account means that you pay your tax bill in two instalments – 31st January and 31st July

Tax rebate means that you paid more income tax than you were supposed to, and you’re owed money from HMRC

Withdrawing a tax return means you no longer need to complete a Self Assessment form. If you think this is the case, let HMRC know as soon as you can!

What personal tax services do TaxScouts offer? 

Tax returns don’t need to be painful. We’ll sort your Self Assessment for you.

Get matched with your very own accountant. Yes, they’re all yours.

Not only will they file your tax return for you, but they’ll be on hand to answer any of your tax return questions. 

Get simple, one-off tax advice from an accredited accountant.

They’ll sort and file your tax return for you, and before you know it, it will have been approved and on its way to HMRC.

Not sure if you’re in need of tax advice or help with tax returns? No biggy, you can read more here about our different services. 

Don’t want to splash too much cash? Bundle the services and save £39!

Here’s a taste of what it would be like to have your own personal tax accountant:

  • A clear understanding of your tax situation
  • Learn about the allowances available to you
  • Get more insight on how to become tax-efficient

Plus, we have all the bookkeeping tools you need, for free!

Manage your finances and get your taxes sorted, all in one place.  

Here’s the tax tea conclusion

Living in a digital age definitely has its benefits.

But, sometimes we want a quick call with a real person to sort out our problems. And it’s not too much to ask for, in our humble opinion.

That’s why we offer the best mix of both!

It’s fair to say that HMRC might need to reweigh the pros and cons of their Self Assessment helpline plan for next time. ⚖️

The good news is that in the meantime, we’ll always be on hand to take the stress away, answer your questions, or just let you know that you’re not in the tax game alone – summer or winter, rain or shine!

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