‘Open HMRC’ – Alexa helps tax credits customers

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) launched new and innovative technology to help more than 3 million customers renew their tax credits by 31 July. HMRC has developed a customer-focused service through Amazon Alexa specifically for those seeking help with their tax credits renewals.

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Customers with Amazon Alexa-enabled devices can ask Alexa to ‘open HMRC’ and ask for help and information with a change of circumstances, payment information, or a renewal. No personal information is stored on Alexa and customers cannot renew their tax credits using Alexa.

It’s just one part of HMRC’s growing online services. Tech-savvy customers can also use the HMRC App on their smartphone to:

  • renew their tax credits
  • check their tax credits payments schedule
  • find out how much they have earned for the year

Tax credits help working families with targeted support, and more than 65,000 customers this year have already used the app to renew their tax credits, compared to 38,411 customers in 2017.

All online customers can now log into GOV.UK to check the progress of their renewal so they can be reassured it’s being worked on and know when they’ll hear back from HMRC.

Angela MacDonald, HMRC’s Director General for Customer Services, said:

We know our customers have hectic lives – full of interruptions and distractions – which is why HMRC’s online services are available at all times of the day and night.

As the 31 July deadline for tax credits renewals approaches, customers can feel reassured that they can renew their benefits online or via the HMRC App at a time that suits them. And if they need to access help and support, Alexa can help customers find out about what to do when they receive a renewal pack, how to change their circumstances, or how to find out about payment information.

We’ve improved our services so customers can renew their tax credits at a time that’s convenient for them.

Online help and information on renewing tax credits is available on GOV.UK and via HMRC’s customer service Twitter feed @HMRCcustomers.

Support is also available on the tax credits helpline (0345 300 3900).

The deadline for people to renew their tax credits is 31 July 2018. Failure to renew before the deadline will mean payments are stopped and customers may have to repay the money they have received since April.

If a customer requests further information through an SMS, the mobile phone number is stored for 6 hours and then automatically deleted.