Taxman misses 44 million calls

Up to 44 million calls to HM Revenue & Customs went in the year 2008-09,
according to a report from the
Audit Office

The report revealed that the year saw 103 million calls in total to HMRC’s
directorate handling telephone enquiries. The answer rate fell to 57% from 71%
the previous year.

However, the call rate to the directorate had increased by 22% and the
monthly rate could range from four million to 17million calls.

The call centre recognised “this level of performance unacceptable” and put
in place measures for improvement.

The National Audit Office: “Early indications are encouraging: in the first
half 2009-10 the number of callers reduced by 12% and the number of call
atemmpts by 34%. The directorate has increased the percentage of calls answered
to 73% compared with 48% in the first half 2008-09.”

In conclusion the NAO said: “In terms of handling telephone enquiries, the
Department is not currently achieving value for money, as it recognises.”

It said appropriate changes could lift the answer rate to 90% and save the
department up to £50m.

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