Welfare Tax Credits

Treasury written question – answered on 14th January 2014.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Draft Modern Slavery Bill Committee, Chair, Draft Modern Slavery Bill Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) duration of calls made on (i) higher rate and (ii) 0845 telephone numbers to HM Revenue and Customs for tax credit enquiries in each year since 2007.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary

HMRC does not operate higher rate numbers other than 0845 and now supplies an alternative 03 number on all customer helplines. The Department intends to phase out all 0845 numbers by April 2015.

From December 2011, the tax credit helpline was the first to offer an alternative 03 number. Calls to 03 prefixed numbers are charged to customers at the same rate as calls to landlines (with 01 and 02 prefixes) and are generally cheaper than 0845 numbers.

In the 12 months ending 30 November 2013, the percentage of calls made to the tax credit helpline 0345 number was 83% and 17% to the 0845 number. The majority of customers are not charged higher rates for their call and some customers still choose to use the 0845 number as it is cheaper within their personal tariff plan.

Since 2012-13, the Department regularly publishes its performance information on a quarterly basis, including tax credit helplines at www.gov.uk:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/business-plan-indicators

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