According to a study conducted by PFP, which analysed call waiting times for the first few months of 2016, it was found that the best time to call HMRC were between 8.30am and 9.30am or 12pm and 12.30. At these times taxpayers waited an average of four-and-a-half minutes to be put through to an assistant.
The worst time was between 4.30pm and 5pm, when the average person waited for 12 minutes before speaking to the taxman.
HMRC have also used recorded messages to turn callers away at peak times.
Kevin Igoe, managing director at PFP said: “There is a real concern that taxpayers will make mistakes on their tax return, if they can’t get hold of HMRC, which could lead to serious consequences.
“Taxpayers understandably want to contact HMRC when it is most convenient for them but this is likely to be at those peak times when call waiting times can reach over 20 minutes.
“Tax returns can be complex for individuals so it’s important they have access to advice and guidance from a professional.
Mr Igoe said for those taxpayers already in disputes with HM Revenue & Customs, difficulties contacting the revenue will be an additional worry.
“As HMRC continue to crack down on the underpayment of tax, they in addition need to ensure they provide sufficient quality customer service to deal with the subsequent queries from taxpayers.”