Revenue and Customs: Telephone Services
Nick Gibb (Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, Conservative)
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer further to recommendation 26 of the 16th Report of the Treasury Committee, Session 2010-12, HC 731, entitled Administration and effectiveness of HM Revenue and Customs, what steps HM Revenue and Customs has taken to examine its processes for call handling and for referring complex tax issues to suitably qualified and experienced staff.
David Gauke (Exchequer Secretary, HM Treasury; South West Hertfordshire, Conservative)
Following the success of the Closer Working Project in tax credits, which has allowed contact centre staff to deal with a greater range of complex issues, HMRC has expanded this approach into taxes. This includes introducing improvements to the way they answer employer, PAYE and self-assessment queries.
HMRC contact centre staff receive appropriate training to enable them to handle the majority of calls received. This is reinforced with regular quality reviews and improved guidance to help staff identify calls that need to be referred to technical specialists. HMRC continues to examine its escalation processes to reduce referrals. This work will continue across the SR10 period and beyond.