HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) customer charter commits it to getting things right, making things easy, being responsive, and treating customers fairly. In 2022-23, HMRC received over 38 million phone calls from taxpayers and their agents, and received 16 million pieces of customer correspondence. However, HMRC’s customer services are facing increasing pressures from a rise in the number of taxpayers and the need to make efficiency savings.

HMRC hopes to meet its service standards by providing quicker and easier digital services, removing the need for most customers to contact HMRC directly. In 2022-23, customers accessed the HMRC app and digital personal and business tax accounts 198.7 million times, up from 61.6 million times in 2016-17. This is not yet helping HMRC stem the demand on its phone and post services, which is up 9% and 10% respectively on the previous year.


This report will examine:

  • whether HMRC understands what has been driving performance levels in its customer services and the impact of this performance where it falls below the standards that customers need
  • whether HMRC has a good understanding of the quality of its customer-facing digital services and how far these can support the full range of customer needs
  • whether HMRC has a realistic plan to improve customer service performance where it falls below the standards that customers need

NAO Team

Director: Andy Morrison
Audit Manager: Andy Serlin