Freedom of Information request reveals rise in HMRC complaints

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) received a record number of complaints in the 2015/16 financial year – almost topping figures recorded during the financial crisis.

The news follows ongoing criticisms that HMRC’s customer service standards are diminishing as the Revenue storms ahead with Making Tax Digital (MTD).

In recent months, concerns have also been raised about the Revenue’s telephone call-waiting times.

But a new request under the Freedom of Information Act has now revealed that HMRC complaints have reached their highest level since the financial crisis.

Complaints were up by more than 7,000 year-on-year in 2015/16, with HMRC handling a grand total of 81,066 complaints, comparable with 73,646 recorded in 2014/15.

During the financial crisis of 2008/9, the Revenue received 83,917 complaints – just 2,851 shy of 2015/16’s worrying figures.

Data also revealed that more than half of all complaints in 2015/16 were upheld, up from just 37 per cent two years ago.

Earlier this year, a report published by the Public Accounts Committee suggested that if any further spending cuts hit HMRC, taxpayers would be sure to suffer a further blow to service standards.