ACCA - The global body for professional accountants
This is a much needed boost to staffing levels to help HMRC meet its contact centre targets. It’s an investment to future proof HMRC, which promised the Treasury’s Select Committee that a target to meet 90 per cent of all calls would be met in two years. But the announcement yesterday means HMRC is aiming to be ahead of target and on track to meet the challenge by March 2013
—Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation, ACCA

The announcement yesterday by HMRC’s chief executive, Lin Homer, that her organisation will hire an additional 1,000 contact centre staff is strongly welcomed today by ACCA (the Association of Charted Certified Accountants).

Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation at ACCA comments: 'This is a much needed boost to staffing levels to help HMRC meet its contact centre targets.  It’s an investment to future proof HMRC, which promised the Treasury’s Select Committee that a target to meet 90 per cent of all calls would be met in two years. But the announcement yesterday means HMRC is aiming to be ahead of target and on track to meet the challenge by March 2013.' 

This investment has come about as a result of the close working between HMRC and the Joint Initiative on HMRC Service Delivery (JIHSD), of which ACCA is a member along with other professional bodies and tax charities. JIHSD has said in the past that service levels were unacceptable and worked with HMRC to offer solutions.

Chas Roy-Chowdhury adds: 'We agreed with HMRC at Chairman, Chief Executive and also at Ministerial level that more support is needed for the UK’s taxpayers, but also that more help is needed for HMRC staff. The volume of calls they receive is huge – some 60 million a year – and with job losses and staff cuts over recent years, this has dented staff morale.

'This is why we welcome this announcement and look forward to seeing further improvements in service for the UK taxpayer. Benchmarking themselves with industry best practice also shows that HMRC is working to becoming truly customer focused.'