HMRC taskforce and agent reporting process to tackle old post
HMRC has set up a taskforce to tackle old post, starting from 10 July, and agents can now report post over 12 months old so that it can be identified and processed.
Poor HMRC service levels have been a concern for some time. We work with other professional bodies to raise issues reported by our members with HMRC and press for improvements. We’ve been working with HMRC to discuss how we can collectively help to reduce post that is over 12 months old.
HMRC has apologised for the impact this is having on customers, including tax agents and their clients. They’re continuing work to respond more quickly to post but know there is more work they need to do on the small proportion of older post still waiting for a response.
They have asked us to let our members know about a dedicated taskforce and reporting process for agents, which they have put in place to tackle old post.
Dedicated HMRC taskforce
HMRC has set up a dedicated taskforce which started work on Monday 10 July to process post over 12 months old. They aim to significantly reduce the number of outstanding cases over the next few months.
Agents can use the agents' issue resolution service online form to identify and progress post over 12 months old.
How the agents’ issue resolution service process will work
The core purpose of the Agent Account Manager team (AAM), which is to help agents resolve issues, will remain but it will now also be responsible for resolving post over 12 months old where HMRC has not responded.
Agents should use the form to identify items of post over 12 months old they believe have not been responded to. HMRC asks that you complete the ‘Reason’ box showing Agents 12 month + Post Trial, before entering any additional text into the box, so the team can identify the trial cases. HMRC will need the following information:
- Client's name.
- Date of post item.
- Customer reference.
- Agent code.
- Agent name.
- Agent’s phone number.
- Which tax regime the post relates to.
Agents using the online form will receive an automatic response acknowledging receipt. HMRC will then contact you within five working days to confirm that the reported post has been identified and respond more fully in 15 working days.
As this is a trial, HMRC won’t publish these changes on GOV.UK at this time.
HMRC have asked us to remind you not to use the AAM service to highlight issues that are being handled by other parts of HMRC including:
- Cases where we’ve already replied to an agent – for example - a request for additional information.
- Formal complaints - unless there is associated post over 12 months old without a response.
- Compliance checks - unless there is associated post over 12 months old without a response.
- Appeals against HMRC decisions.
- Post under 12 months old.
HMRC will monitor the adapted service and review how it’s working on Friday 4 August. If the mailbox has been successful, they’ll extend the trial for a further period and let us know how long this is likely to be for.
Tell us about your experience
We would welcome any feedback from members on this HMRC initiative; email us to let us know how it works in practice.
More generally, ICAS responds to many tax calls for evidence and consultations, as well as producing tax policy papers and reports. We also regularly attend meetings with HMRC at which service levels, delays and other issues are discussed, and we raise problems being encountered by members. We welcome input from members to inform our work; email us to share your insights and feedback.