HMRC Update – call waiting times, Child Benefit toolkit

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Call waiting times are being added to more phone lines, parents can now refer to a Child Benefit claim toolkit.

Call waiting times to be included on more helplines​ 

​Following a successful trial, messages on the estimated time it will take to speak to an adviser will now be extended to more HMRC helplines from 4 July. ​ ​ 

The message will be played at the start of the call so customers can make an informed choice about whether they want to hang on, use digital services or call back another time. ​ 

​Call wait time messages are based on the previous day’s average and will be included on the following Helplines:​ 

  • Child Benefit ​ 
  • Tax credits ​ 
  • VAT ​ 
  • Online services ​ 
  • National Insurance​ 
  • Construction Industry Scheme​ 
  • Employers ​ 

​Expected call wait times are already given on the PAYE helpline. This has proved successful with a significant number of customers choosing to leave the queue and resolve their query elsewhere. HMRC has been able to take more calls from customers who still need to speak to a person, and wait times reduced from 40 minutes at the start of the trial, to consistently below 20 minutes. ​ ​ 

HMRC says it wants to be open and transparent about how long customers can expect to wait and encourage the use of our digital services which are quicker and easier than calling.

New toolkit supporting parents to claim Child Benefit online

HMRC’s online Child Benefit claims service means the majority of parents can claim online at a time that suits them, and be paid quicker by claiming through GOV.UK.

To make sure as many parents as possible are benefiting, please share the Child Benefit Toolkit with your networks. By logging in through the Government Gateway on GOV.UK or taking just a few minutes to set an account up, parents could receive their first payment in as little as three working days for a straightforward online claim.


Alcohol Duty new rates and reliefs – get ready for the changes by 1 August 2023 

Businesses have until 1 August 2023 to prepare for the changes to the Alcohol Duty structure and the new reliefs, which include: 

  • Small Producer Relief – supporting smaller producers of alcoholic products with a discounted rate of duty 
  • a reduced rate for draught products (also known as Draught Relief) – supporting the hospitality industry by charging a separate, lower rate of duty on qualifying draught products
  • transitional arrangements for producers and importers of some wine products – supporting those businesses with moving to the new method of calculating duty on their products.

To support you with the upcoming changes, HMRC:

If you have any questions about the upcoming changes, you can join one of HMRC’s live webinars and ask directly.

AAT Comment offers news and opinion on the world of business and finance from the Association of Accounting Technicians.

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