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Businesses could be forced to rely on the poor telephone service for four days from 2nd April to 6th April 2011, as HM Revenue & Customs shuts down its online services for routine maintenance work. This coincides with a busy time of year for many, as sole traders, limited companies and individual taxpayers are planning for the new tax year.

HMRC have always suspended their services twice a year for routine maintenance, but to close for four days will cause huge disruption. Other organisations usually close for two days at the weekend, causing minimal disruption to businesses. Representatives from HMRC faced the Treasury select committee earlier this week, with the chairman of HMRC, Mike Clasper stating that the telephone service wasn’t satisfactory and that too many people relied on the call centres rather than use the online service. This is followed with a four day shutdown period, when taxpayers are forced to contact HMRC using the call centres.

Tax agents have been made aware of this news, allowing you to contact your small business accountants before the end of April. Plans for the new tax year should be made as soon as possible, so that you can contact HMRC if necessary. A reputable online accountants will contact HMRC on your behalf, making financial plans for the new tax year well before 2nd April.

Although HMRC have known for nine months that they will have to suspend their online services for a short period, many accountants believe that the time of year is inconvenient to many who want to organise Individual Savings Accounts, pensions or Capital Gains Tax.

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