Self-assessment taxpayers urged to plan ahead amid HMRC telephone chaos

12 December, 2017

This time last week, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) announced on social media that ‘technical problems’ had caused its telephone lines to crash.

The tax authority’s helplines – which welcome millions of phone calls from confused businesses and taxpayers every month – were down all day on Tuesday 5 December, while some users also reported that HMRC’s online ‘webchat’ services were also inactive.

Throughout the course of the day, HMRC was unable to confirm exactly when its services would be back up-and-running.

Following the news – which caused chaos for hundreds of HMRC service users who were either due to submit their returns, or had urgent enquiries – self-assessment taxpayers are being urged to seek advice early ahead of HMRC’s online self-assessment tax deadline of 31 January 2018.

In recent weeks, HMRC itself has submitted a reminder urging taxpayers to get their affairs in order ahead of the Christmas period, to avoid a mad rush in January.

In an official reminder issued on 30 November, HMRC said: “The deadline for returning your self-assessment, and paying any tax owed, is 31 January 2018 – do it now and enjoy the festive period.

“Today, completing your self-assessment via your Personal Tax Account can be done anywhere or at any time; on the bus, in a coffee shop or while watching TV, using your phone, a tablet or a computer… it’s now easier than ever before.”