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Email, Webchat or Letter: HMRC need to offer all of them equally

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Posted by: Tony Margaritelli | Last modified on 23/08/2019

In a Digital era where everything is instant or at worst, after hitting Return or Send and communication is apparently all via a keyboard and at best simply down to asking Alexa or Siri. HMRC are pushing forward with their own Digital Agenda because it’s what the public want.

Now let’s be honest, huge swathes of the population are more than happy to engage in a digital format and HMRC would be foolish to ignore this trend especially when you consider the cost savings that are available but is it what the public want to the exclusion of all other methods? Can a Government department base its communication techniques on what some polls show to the detriment of others?

I ask this question because I actually had a look at HMRC’s quarterly Performance Indicators for 2019/20 and what struck me was that in April 2019 HMRC received 1,349,995 postal receipts, in May 2019 1,700,864 and in June 2019 1,499,623 which is 4.5million postal receipts.

4.5million letters in the first 3 months of the year which is only 10% down from the same period in 2018 shows to me that many of the population are not ready to switch to digital communications 100%. It also shows me that HMRC must ensure that these people are not disadvantaged.

The race to be 100% digital is understandable but as these figures ably demonstrate is that 100% of the population are not wanting to comform.

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