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How to Contact HMRC for Self Assessment

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Over the last few years, HMRC has invested heavily in its Making Tax Digital scheme in an effort to make managing your Self Assessment online as easy as possible. The government hopes that by creating an extensive hub of online resources, fewer people will need to contact HMRC directly to deal with their queries. 

People are creatures of habit though, aren’t we? No matter how effective HMRC’s digital service might be, customers still tend to want to speak to someone directly when a problem arises. Fortunately, you can still speak to HMRC by phone, live chat, or post. 

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about contacting HMRC, including phone numbers, email addresses and postal addresses, as well as alternative means of contact or finding the answers to your questions. 

So, let’s take the stress out of personal tax and dive into how to contact HMRC for Self Assessment.

What is Self Assessment, and why is it important?

Self Assessment is the process of filing your personal tax return with HMRC. This should cover all of your taxable income for the tax year.  You need to submit a Self Assessment if you, during the tax year, were:

  • Self-employed as a ‘sole trader’ and earned more than £1,000 after tax relief
  • A partner in a business relationship
  • A director of a limited company
  • Earning more than £100,000
  • Eligible for the High Income Child Benefit Charge

There are a couple of other eligibility requirements for Self Assessment. Read our full guide to find out if you qualify and need to submit a tax return.

A Self Assessment tax return is due on 31st January, but you can choose to file it before then as long as the tax year is complete. Tax liability is due for payment by 31st January, with a second payment due on 31st July. 

HMRC takes the deadlines seriously, and if you miss the filing or payment dates, then you may have to pay a penalty charge. So, it’s a good idea to sort your tax return as early as possible, so you know how much you will need to save to pay your bill. 

Taking a proactive approach will also allow you the time to contact HMRC during quieter periods rather than waiting until the January rush.

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HMRC helpline closure

You may be aware that HMRC instigated a closure of its Self Assessment helpline between 12th June and 4th September 2023 in a bid to steer taxpayers towards its online services. With this in mind, it’s crucial to get acquainted with HMRC’s online Self Assessment platform wherever possible. 

In the event that you cannot find the answer to your question on the HMRC website, you can use the Self Assessment live chat tool to speak to HMRC’s digital assistant. 

So, HMRC’s investment in online services will likely mean you can find the answers to your queries quicker than back when you had to pick up the phone. Conversely, speaking to a human about a specific query is more difficult than ever. That’s why it’s important to have a good accountant on your side. 

If you don’t want to deal with HMRC and would rather have someone sort it out for you, we’re here to help. 

At Crunch, we’ve developed accounting software that makes dealing with Self Assessment and other personal tax processes more efficient than ever before. Our smart software gives you the benefit of cloud accounting and genius accountants rolled into one - taking the stress out of Self Assessment through the power of automation, integrated services and expert support. 

Sign up now or keep reading to learn more about contacting HMRC. 

Why contact HMRC?

While HMRC’s online services provide an extensive range of support and information, there still may be occasions in which you need to contact HMRC directly. In particular, if you have problems using HMRC’s online service, you may need to contact the helpdesk. 

These issues include:

  • Issues submitting your Self Assessment tax return online 
  • Unable to recover login details 
  • Getting error messages on your online account

In efforts to manage the sheer number of calls during peak times, HMRC has announced that until Wednesday 24th January, the Self Assessment helpline will only accept queries about the following:

  • paying your Self Assessment tax bill
  • getting a refund from your Self Assessment account
  • completing your Self Assessment tax return

The helpline will be able to deal with other Self Assessment queries from Thursday 1st February 2024.

Preparing to contact HMRC

When it comes to contacting HMRC, it helps to have all of the relevant information to hand, so you can make any and all communication as efficient as possible. So, if you do need to contact HMRC about your Self Assessment, be sure to have the following:

  • Your personal details: full name, address, date of birth
  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your Government Gateway ID
  • Your Unique Tax Reference Number (UTR)
  • Previous Self Assessment tax returns, if relevant

It’s important to keep all personal details up to date to ensure minimal disruption in passing security checks. So, when you call HMRC, you will likely need to go through the voice recognition system before speaking to an agent. 

The voice recognition service aims to expedite calls and, in particular, the security process. The system will ask why you are calling. So, if you are unable to use the voice recognition service, you may need to ask HMRC for extra support.

Common issues with HMRC online services

HMRC’s online services cover a wide range of tax areas, including Self Assessment. In fact, the government steering taxpayers towards its online services across the board, with plans to phase out many aspects of paper tax returns in the next few years. 

Service downtime and maintenance

While the online platform is extensive, it’s not exhaustive. Since it’s ongoing continual development, there can sometimes be issues when using the service. Whether that’s a temporary outage, scheduled maintenance or simply a gap in the information, you might need to explore alternative options.

HMRC publishes details of any scheduled maintenance or known service issues on its website. Visit the links below to see the current service status.

Retrieving lost details

Another common issue for those using the online service is that of retrieving lost login details. HMRC provides a comprehensive process to help retrieve both your Government Gateway and password and you can find links to do this on the login page

If you are struggling to gain access to your account even after following this process, then you will need to contact HMRC to retrieve your lost details and/or reset your password.

Writing to HMRC

If you want to contact HMRC via post for any query except making a complaint, you can send a letter to the following address: 

Self Assessment

HM Revenue and Customs

BX9 1AS

United Kingdom

For complaints, HMRC has another process, which you can find here

Response times are likely to be long with postal communication, so we do recommend embracing online services where possible. If online tax returns seem daunting, then Crunch is here to help. Our software allows you to save time and money by making accounting more efficient with the support of our team of expert accountants.

Learn more about Crunch’s Self Assessment services. 

Contacting HMRC via social media

For some general queries, you can contact HMRC via X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HMRCcustomers. Please note that HMRC does not discuss specific cases or an individual’s tax affairs on X. This platform is only for questions, so do not give any personal details.

Tweets on this account are monitored at the following times:

  • Monday to Friday: 8am to 8pm
  • Saturday: 8am to 4pm

Closed on Sundays and bank holidays.

Contacting HMRC via the official app

HMRC also has an official app, which can be a great way to access your information about UTR, employment history and tax records while on the go. The app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and you can find out more about the app on the HMRC website

In summary, HMRC is actively working to ensure taxpayers can access all the information they need via online services. However, there will always be some cases in which people need to speak to another human about their issues, whether that’s because they don’t have access to the internet or because they are unable to pass security checks due to mismatched personal details.

Whatever your issue, hopefully, this guide has helped to clarify the different ways you can contact HMRC, and how best to prepare for communication.

After all of the above, if you are keen to take the stress out of tax, then sign up for Crunch’s accounting software to tap into the power of automation, integrated services and a vast knowledge hub supported by expert accountants.

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Updated on
December 21, 2023

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