With only five days’ notice, HMRC has announced that their VAT registration helpline will close from Monday 22 May 2023. This has been a service dedicated specifically to helping customers who have a concern around their VAT registration application. HMRC advisers from this helpline will be redeployed to spend their entire time processing VAT registration applications instead of answering calls through the helpline.

Taxpayers and agents are directed to use HMRC’s online “where’s my reply” tool (link) for an estimated date of response. HMRC’s announcement notes that a reply should be expected within 40 days; where a reply is not received within this time, a dedicated email mailbox is provided through which follow-up is possible.

We would hope that the staff redeployment should see an improvement in response times, but this remains to be seen. HMRC state that the decision to close the helpline will be kept under review. In the meantime, if you need any assistance with VAT registration or any associated matters, please get in touch.