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Treasury Committee requests urgent answer after HMRC shuts phone lines

Treasury Committee requests urgent answer after HMRC shuts phone lines
 

The chairperson of the Treasury Committee has requested an urgent response from HMRC after it shut its phone lines and some online services.

Harriet Baldwin has writted to Jim Harra, chief executive of HMRC stating it is “of serious concern” that taxpayers are currently unable to reach the service by telephone or potentially online.

She was writing in response to a tweet posted this morning (December 2) in which HMRC said due to technical issues it had shut all its phone lines apart from the national clearance hub helpline.

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Some online services are also impacted, the tweet said, adding that HMRC is working “urgently” to resolve this issue.

Baldwin said: “These unexpected outages should be a thing of the past. 

“That’s why I’ve today written to the head of HMRC to demand urgent answers on the issues facing customers over the past 24 hours.”

Baldwin has asked Harra to describe the nature of the issue, the length of time it has persisted and the number of customers it has impacted.

She has also requested details of the temporary procedures implemented to prevent a complete loss of service, as well as how the issue was tackled and how a similar loss of service will be prevented in the future.

An HMRC spokesperson said: “We are working urgently to resolve an issue which has meant we’ve had to temporarily close most of our phone lines. We apologise to those affected and will reopen them as soon as possible.

“We encourage people to use our online services, which are open.”

sally.hickey@ft.com