Lines are busiest on Mondays

Best to call later in the week and first thing in the morning

untied, the UK’s personal tax app, today revealed that callers had to wait longer to get through to HMRC’s  phone line on the run up to the self-assessment deadline than they did 12 months ago. In 2021, they had to wait an average of 11 minutes. This year that rose to almost 12.5 minutes. It remained easier to get through to HMRC first thing in the morning and towards the end of the week.

Call times are shorter later in the week

untied found that it was best to call HMRC towards the end of the week, particularly on a Thursday or Friday, although this timespan got much longer as the deadline approached. In general, the shortest wait-time was in the morning between 8:00 and 9:00am, when phone lines first opened. Callers were on hold for between three and four minutes at that point.

Lines are busiest on Mondays

Mondays were found to be the busiest days to call, with the lines tending to be very busy during both the morning and afternoon (an average call wait time of 20 minutes). This duration increases after 4:00pm and goes up to 22 minutes. Some callers were even having to wait up to an hour for their call to be answered.

Towards the tax deadline, the lines regularly became too busy which resulted in a significant number of ‘cut-off’ calls - even after the caller had listed to the lengthy introduction message of around 2-2.5 minutes and had answered the mandatory questions about why they were calling. These dropped calls were most common after 1pm.

Kevin Sefton, CEO at untied, commented: “The beginning of the year will always be a busy time for the HMRC phone lines because millions of people wait until the deadline to file their taxes and then find they need assistance. The 28 February extended filing cut-off to avoid penalties didn’t make this challenge any easier, even though fewer people took advantage than twelve months earlier. . With nearly a million people expected to miss the tax return deadline and then scramble to get their submissions completed, we don’t expect these wait times to ease any time soon.

Kevin continues: “Even though services such as untied are giving people to take more control of their taxes, there are always going to be many reasons that people still need to contact HMRC. This is often because they cannot achieve what they want to do in other ways. HMRC’s strategy is to make this easier and more flexible in the future.. Our advice has always been to get ahead and not leave tax returns until the last minute just in case you need help, particularly as it’s more difficult to contact HMRC directly the closer to the deadline it is.”


For further information, contact Chantal Heckford at