Self-assessment helpline temporarily ditched as tax body trials new approach 

Subcontractors are reporting disruption to their tax affairs after HMRC shut down its self-assessment helpline as part of a ‘seasonal model’ pilot.

The new approach will see it direct queries from the helpline to its digital service, with phone route closed until September 4.

Payroll firm Hudson Contract said it had been contacted by a number of self-employed tradespeople concerned at the move, which comes after disruption from strike action last month.


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The helpline has been closed since 12 June

Hudson Contract’s managing director Ian Anfield said: “We know from experience the helpline is by far the easiest way for subbies to quickly resolve any issues with their self-assessment, especially if they are paying higher than necessary tax deductions under CIS.

“It is simply not practical for tradespeople to get online, register for digital services and then look out for HMRC messages when they are busy working on building sites.”

Anfield urged the tax body to reopen the helpline, noting that some self-employed people used refunds from their tax returns to fund holidays.

“Newly registered people are faced with a registration deadline in early October and the last date for paper submissions falls at the end of October,” he added.

“The helpline being closed now will impact all of these groups and HMRC will struggle with the backlog when it reopens in September.”