Taxpayers will receive no help or support from HMRC’s helplines with frequently-asked questions ahead of the 31 January Self Assessment payment deadline, Accountancy Daily reports.
With seven weeks left to deadline the sudden freeze on access to help may cause many self-employed taxpayers to struggle.
HMRC said that advisors will focus on ‘priority queries’ but gave no indication of what qualifies as ‘priority’.
The announcement, made on Thursday 7 December, comes into force on Monday 11 December.
Overall customer satisfaction with HMRC’s online services is ‘more than 80%’, it reports.
The decision has been heavily criticised by accountants and tax advisers including the Chartered Institute of Taxation and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
The announcement comes just weeks after England’s local medical committees passed a motion condemning PCSE as ‘not fit for purpose’ and called for its contract to be retendered. One representative warned that GPs were quitting over the issue.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “As an organisation, we’re blessed with regular updates from specialist medical accountants Honey Barrett, with regular advice from them to get tax returns in early and to develop a good rapport with your accountant, so that they’re not only submitting your return for you but also on hand to answer any tax-related questions.
“But we do also understand that as very busy GPs, with the vagaries of PCSE to deal with too, some of us may not yet have submitted our returns.
“If that’s you, you may be lucky enough to engage a specialist medical accountant now (an early Christmas present, perhaps?). Otherwise, you may find some support on our members’ only forum, or on our GP-only Facebook group.”
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