BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Page last updated at 13:48 GMT, Saturday, 30 January 2010

Dealing with HMRC is proving to be too taxing for many

Money Box listeners have a couple of bones to pick with HM Revenue & Customs.

Firstly, it has issued a warning about mistakes in the tax codes currently being issued to taxpayers.

Coding notices tell taxpayers how large their personal tax allowance will be in the coming tax year, and how much tax their employers should deduct.

Earlier this week the Chartered Institute of Taxation warned that many faulty or duplicate notices were being sent out. It said taxpayers could be asked to pay up to £108 a month too much.

Now HMRC has acknowledged that there is a problem.

And then there's the phones...

HMRC failed to answer about 44 million phone calls last year, according to Whitehall's spending watchdog.

The National Audit Office called the performance of 31 customer "contact centres" during 2008/09 "unacceptable".

Money Box listener Andrew Currie describes his efforts to talk to a real person at HMRC.

Paul Lewis hears from accounts Grant Thornton's Mike Warburton, and puts the issues to Claire Merrills from HM Revenue & Customs.

This item was first broadcast on Radio 4's Money Box on Saturday, 30 January 2010

Story Tools

banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific