H M Revenues & Customs have introduced a pilot scheme, inviting people who are struggling to get through to its help lines to tweet instead.
Nimesh Shah, a tax partner at Blick Rothenberg LLP, said: "The suggestion to ‘tweet’ HMRC appears part of HMRC’s continuing ‘digital revolution’ which encourages taxpayers to use HMRC’s online services, but many older people will have no idea how to tweet and those that do will be worried about security."
He added: "Whilst online taxation services should be encouraged and the Government and HMRC needs to invest more in its technology, HMRC needs to remember that a lot of people will not use Twitter, and even those that do, are unlikely to want to send a tweet asking what expenses are deductible.
There is a lot of helpful information on HMRC’s website but you need to know where to look – it can be confusing trying to find the right answer on the website and the majority of people want to speak someone. Sending a tweet is not the right answer."
Nimesh continued: "The problem is that with the self-assessment tax return deadline at the end of January, and people naturally leaving completing their tax return to the last minute, HMRC’s helplines become inundated with calls and there can be a long wait before the call is answered.
Also, more and more local HMRC offices are being closed as HMRC consolidate their services. In October, HMRC announced that 14 offices would be closed by the end of 2015. The days of going into your local tax office to speak to an inspector to help complete your tax return are long gone but tweeting, especially for the older tax payer, is not the answer."
For more information, please contact Nimesh Shah at firstname.lastname@example.org