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You Don’t Need Tax Knowledge To Work At HMRC!

A job advert for a “support officer” at HMRC states applicants do not need “any existing knowledge or experience of tax to apply”, The Telegraph reports.

The role is mainly administrative but key responsibilities include “resolving customer queries and complaints in a courteous and professional manner”.

However following the unavailability of HMRC’s self-assessment helpline, many customers’ already struggle to receive the support they need, and expect all staff dealing with them to have an understanding of tax issues.

HMRC said the role was administrative and “not a tax professional role”. A spokesman added: “As such, it is entirely appropriate that candidates are recruited in this way and receive relevant training.”

However recruiting people without any tax knowledge, even for a support role, is a worrying decision given that HMRC seems to be in disarray.  The Telegraph goes on to report that HMRC failed to hit any of its own performance targets in its last financial year and that average call waiting times more than trebled.

Despite a shambolic service, an ever-increasing number of people need to use HMRC’s services.  The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) forecast that 1.2 million more taxpayers will need to complete a self-assessment tax return this year as a direct consequence of the Chancellor’s decision to freeze tax thresholds and lower capital gains and dividend allowances.

However, HMRC has stripped back its helpline services ahead of the deadline, with only “priority” callers and the “digitally excluded” able to speak to a tax adviser on the phone until 31 January 2024.  An outrageous move to arbitrarily decide not to provide a service at the exact time you might need it!


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