Changes to HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) helpline services are being halted while it considers how best to help taxpayers harness online services.

At the end of January 2024, HMRC announced some of their changes to telephone services during the Self-Assessment (SA) ‘peak’ would remain in place:

  • The SA Agent Dedicated Line (ADL) webchat services will continue to be available – online chat rather than talking to a person 
  • ADL for Pay as You Earn (PAYE) queries focuses on repayment queries and is accessed through the PAYE digital assistant. – though ‘complex PAYE queries can once again call the ADL’ (0300 200 3311)
  • Contact with HMRC about tax relief repayments on SA, PAYE and Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) should use HMRC’s ‘Where’s my reply’ in the first instance

The changes after the SA peak (ending 31 January 2024) were the result of feedback indicating that the move to online has been ‘useful’.


On 19 March 2024, HMRC announced more changes, all in the name of encouraging people to interact with HMRC online rather than by telephone.  The following changes were announced as taking place from 08 April 2024, the first full week back after Easter:

  • The Self-Assessment helpline would be closed until 30 September 2024 – but use webchat services
  • A new permanent ’SA peak helpline’ would operate from 01 October to 31 January every year – this would focus on the completion of tax returns and payment of tax due.  In February and March, the focus would turn to appealing penalties
  • The VAT helpline would only open for 5 business days each month around the VAT deadline – use webchat when it is closed
  • The PAYE helpline would not deal with PAYE refund calls – with directions to online resources including the digital assistant and webchat

On 20 March 2024 after substantial backlash, HMRC issued a Press Release stating that the changes had been halted.  HMRC stated that this was while ‘it considers how best to help taxpayers harness online services’.


For Bookkeepers

Bookkeepers need to note that there is a stronger move to HMRC wishing to interact with them online.  Given this U-turn, the ADL is not affected but is impacted by the changes from 01 February 2024.