Hmrc pauses ‘ineffective’ webchat service

HMRC pauses ‘ineffective’ webchat service

HMRC pauses ‘ineffective’ webchat service
HMRC has suspended its ‘webchat’ advice service for three months (effective from Tuesday 4 January 2022) in order to “fully review our services to make sure we are helping our customers in the most effective way possible”.
In a statement, HMRC said that while webchat is effective in answering simple queries, “supporting customers with complex queries has proven to be inefficient”. It admitted that supporting PAYE customers with coding queries takes 84% longer via webchat than it does over the phone. Other examples it cited include payments in Child Benefit and Registrations in VAT both taking around 50% longer.
It said: “Webchat is most effective when we use it to educate and coach customers in using our digital tools, and we know that this is what we need to build on. We’ll use this pause to fully review our services to make sure we are helping our customers in the most effective way possible.”
However, it said the following lines will remain open:
• Online Services Helpdesk
• Self Assessment
• National Clearance Hub
• Imports and Exports
• Debt Management
• Extra Support
It added that support for pandemic-related activity will continue.