Waiting on the taxman: Hundreds of thousands of people being forced to wait more than ten minutes to speak to HMRC
On hold: HMRC aims to pick up the phone within five minutes
Hundreds of thousands of people are being forced to wait more than ten minutes on hold to speak to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The tax authority aims to pick up the phone within five minutes, but between April and December last year, callers had to wait an average of six minutes and 48 seconds.
And 3.8 million people hung up before an adviser managed to speak to them.
Businesses and taxpayers may contact HMRC to ask a question about taxes, benefits and self-assessment forms.
Around 11.7 million people had to fill out a tax return this year.
But in December 15 per cent of the 2,211,272 callers who rang the taxman were forced to wait for more than ten minutes before they could speak to someone.
An HMRC spokesman says the taxman has taken steps to improve its service.