Dealing with HMRC if you have additional needs

Our experts tell you how to make contacting HMRC as easy as possible if you have additional needs

Our experts at DSR Tax Claims know how hard it is to find good, quality information about HMRC’s tax regulations that is easy to understand, and that’s why we have created these handy guides to tell you everything you need to know. Our aim is to make life easier for our clients and that is why we want to share our expertise with you. You can also call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.

How can HMRC help if you have additional needs?

HMRC can provide you with extra help to use their services if you have additional needs. Having additional needs may mean that you are deaf or hearing-impaired or you have a speech impediment that makes it hard for you to be understood verbally. It could mean that you are blind or partially sighted and therefore have difficulty with the written word. Or it may apply to you because English isn’t your first language and so you need help to understand the information you receive from HMRC. If any of these apply to you, don’t worry – HMRC are able to help you in your dealings with them.

How can you get help in person?

The first thing you need to do is contact the relevant HMRC department – our handy guide to contacting HMRC gives you all the contact details for the most common HMRC departments. If you need to arrange a home visit, or to meet somewhere near to you, you can inform the adviser you speak to. You can also get face-to-face help if you find it hard to use a telephone, perhaps because you have hearing difficulties, by arranging to visit an HMRC adviser.

Unfortunately, HMRC have closed their local tax offices so you no longer have that option if you need help in person. However, you can always appoint someone else to deal with HMRC on your behalf. You can choose a friend or relative, an adviser from a voluntary organisation, or a tax specialist such as our experts at DSR Tax Claims. Call us on 0330 122 9972 to contact our friendly and helpful team.

How can you get specific help if you are deaf or have a speech impediment?

If you are deaf, have a hearing impairment or have a speech impediment, you can use a ‘text relay’ service with any HMRC contact number. To do so, you need to dial 18001 in front of any of the HMRC contact numbers and that will provide you with the text relay helpline service.

So, for example, if you wanted to contact the general enquiries line for Income Tax, instead of dialling the number as 0330 200 3300, you would dial 18001 0300 200 3300. Text relay offers text-to-speech and speech-to-text translation services. A relay assistant at the HMRC helpline acts as an intermediary, enabling people with hearing or speech impairments to communicate with HMRC departments over the telephone.

HMRC also offers a textphone service for most of its departments. Formerly known as a minicom system, a textphone is a telephone developed for use by people who are deaf or hard of hearing, having a small screen and a keyboard on which a message may be typed to be received by another textphone.

If you have difficulties in using a telephone (for example, if you are profoundly deaf and you use British Sign Language (BSL) to communicate), you can get additional help from the Royal Association for Deaf People. They can provide webcam appointments with their tax adviser, a video interpreting service as well as BSL-captioned video clips offering HMRC guidance.

In addition, if you require face-to-face help you can arrange to visit an HMRC adviser – you may need to do this if you require the help of a BSL interpreter or an audio induction loop.

How can you get specific help if you are blind or partially sighted?

HMRC can provide you with a number of aids to help you with your tax affairs if you are blind or partially sighted. These include forms, leaflets or other information in the following formats:

  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio CD
  • Text CD (standard or large print)
  • Other formats, such as coloured paper to aid you in being able to read the information.

Contact the relevant HMRC department to request these resources, for example, contact the Self Assessment department if you need to request a large print Self Assessment tax return form.

What help can you get if English isn’t your first language?

HMRC will allow you to get a friend or family member to act as an interpreter on your behalf so that they can interpret any HMRC phone calls for you. The friend or family member needs to be over 16 and in the same room as you when you call HMRC. Call the relevant HMRC department to request this help. If you can’t provide yourself with someone to act as an interpreter, the HMRC adviser may be able to help to organise an interpreter on your behalf.

How can DSR Tax Claims help?

We aim to make life as simple as possible for our clients and that includes giving you the information you need to make your taxes (and your life) simpler and less stressful.  Our team of experts at DSR Tax Claims are always on hand to help our clients and our excellent standing with HMRC means that we can make sure you don’t fall foul of their regulations, while claiming your maximum tax relief. We can even take care of all that paperwork and deal with HMRC on your behalf too. Call our friendly team on 0330 122 9972 – we’re the tax experts you can trust.

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