HM Revenue & Customs are currently testing new services to assist those customers with hearing difficulties. In working with the Royal Association for Deaf People (RAD), HMRC are able to provide never before seen levels of access to information and support.
The innovative service has been piloted using a small number of people, with the response showing how beneficial it is already proving to be. It means that deaf customers who handle their own tax affairs, but were unable to speak directly with HMRC, can now do so. Using a video relay a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter will be able to talk directly with an HMRC adviser on the phone, thereby creating a three way ‘real time’ conversation.
However, as there may be more complex issues, customers can use the Advocacy and Advice service provided by RAD. Advisers will use BSL to communicate with the customer using a video link and provide advice. But if the matter needs HMRC help to support the customer, then they will contact an HMRC adviser on the customer’s behalf.
Customers wanting to use either the video relay or Advocacy and Advice services can find out more and book an appointment through the joint HMRC/RAD Tax Help Centre, or by clicking here.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.