A consultation period launching from today until the end of July 2013 will see a pilot HMRC scheme to replace their Enquiry Centres with home or business based one-to-one support.
Toward the end of the consultation, from June 2013, HMRC will launch the new, flexible support service, which should provide service to 1.5 million taxpayers.
HMRC will close 14 Enquiry Centres from June as part of the pilot scheme which include:
- Alnwick, Bishop Auckland, Bridlington, Hexham, Darlington, Durham, Middlesbrough, Morpeth, Newcastle, Scarborough, Stockton, Sunderland and York.
The new service will have a mobile one-to-one service and telephone service - it is hoped to save £13 million per year in operating costs, as well as save taxpayers needing help, their time and travel expense.
The scheme is broken down as follows:
- Telephone - Specialised phone service for tax affairs which can be resolved over the phone by advisers trained to deal with each case until it is resolved.
- Mobile - HMRC advisers will travel to meet the taxpayer face to face, either at home or business.
If the scheme is deemed successful, the new service will close all 281 Enquiry Centres from February 2014 and HMRC will relocate existing staff to other parts of the Civil Service.