When making a call to HMRC you are often greeted by automated messages warning about potential long waits and that you may be able to get help from the HMRC website. In January alone it is estimated that 170,000 calls will come in, most likely due to the Self-assessment tax return deadline which was 31 January. With nearly 170,000 calls coming in and only 19,500 tax authority customer service staff, it is understandable why there would be potential for long waits.
This is why HMRC are trialling a text messaging service to help reduce the wait time. The service is designed to help with more simple issues, such as finding reference numbers or resetting passwords. This means that the person asking for help will receive a text message with a website link that will solve their issue.
The service will start with the person calling in like normal and stating the reason they are calling. Depending on the answer they will be asked if they want to receive an online link or speak to someone. This service will only work if you have one of the following requests
Locating a Unique Tracking Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
Registering for HMRC online services
Resetting a lost or forgotten online service password or user ID
This trial will last until the start of April.