I was somewhat surprised tonight to discover that HMRC apparently refuse e-mails from members of the public (AKA customers) with tax enquiries. This was started because I got a coding notice (dated 21 February 2011) that said I owed some back tax from a previous year. They claimed to have told me about this already, but I didn’t recall that, and since I’m on PAYE (with a Govt Dept) I believe I’ve paid the correct tax for my entire career. If anything I may have overpaid because my charitable contributions won’t have been taken into account (a modest amount though).
Anyway, I used a bit of know-how and after the first obvious e-mail addresses bounced (enquiries@) I then wrote to postmaster@ (the address the bounce came from) and it also bounced. So, being aware of the pan-government standard for personal e-mail addresses I simply looked up the Chairman, Chief Executive, Permanent Secretary and the Director for Personal Tax and sent them all an e-mail along the lines of the text below.
It has been half an hour and I’ve checked e-mails twice, with no bounces it looks like the e-mails have been delivered. However all of those individuals will have a private office team that will either delete, forward or reply to my enquiry. I suspect none of the named individuals will actually see my e-mail. But if I get to make my query online I’ll be happy. If not then at least I’ll have rattled cages near the top of the tree to start with rather than dealing with an oppressed junior staff member who is specifically told not to help me.
I am writing to you because I am unable to find a specific e-mail address to resolve my tax coding enquiry. I believe that for a key public service to completely refuse to accept e-mails from the public is highly unreasonable.
My particular problem is that I would like a speedy resolution to my query (affecting my tax coding) that also gives me a full audit trail of the communication that I can produce should it be required in any future dealings with HMRC. The reason I don’t want to trust to the Royal Mail is that it took a month to deliver the HMRC coding notice (based on the date HMRC printed on it and when it came through my letter box).
I am certain that there are at least some people within HMRC tax offices who have internet e-mail and who can resolve my query. If they are concerned about data security (which I should hope they are) then I would be content to correspond with them on my GSI e-mail address which would be sufficiently secure for the purpose.
Can you please advise which e-mail address that I should use to send in my enquiry. My tax reference is [REDACTED].
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- Shortlands – HMRC’s Hidden Enquiry Centre (pcseuston.org.uk)
- Tax chaos will last until 2013, admits HMRC boss as he tells MPs service is ‘not acceptable’ (dailymail.co.uk)
- PAYE fiasco: 10,000 have tax debts cancelled (telegraph.co.uk)