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LITRG welcomes first steps towards improved service for bereaved taxpayers

printer Mail

Extra support for people who need to contact HMRC following a bereavement represents a positive step towards an improved service for bereaved taxpayers, according to the CIOT’s Low Incomes Tax Reform Group.

HMRC announced last month that it had revised the form R27 – used to finalise the tax affairs of a deceased person – and created a bereavement service for PAYE and self assessment ‘customers’.

The department said in a press release yesterday that from this month people contacting HMRC would  find ‘improved and streamlined’ processes. ‘Family members or personal representatives who phone HMRC about tax and bereavement will also be able to speak to a dedicated team of advisers.’

HMRC added: ‘Initially, the new service will focus on SA or PAYE tax matters, and is targeted at customers who do not have accountants or solicitors acting on their behalf.’

The Bereavement Helpline is on 0845 300 0627, and is available from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 4pm on a Saturday.

LITRG said the initiative was one of the first proposals arising from the first meeting of the joint working group formed last year to drive improvements in HMRC services.

The group had said in November 2009 that the lives of bereaved people ‘could be made a great deal easier’ if the different government agencies involved when someone died were to ‘share information and join up the services they offer’.