V7.307 Telephoning HMRC
It can also be a frustrating experience when attempting to speak to HMRC by telephone on its VAT Helpline (0300 200 3700). A query about any technical matter of detail will again either refer the enquirer to public notices or published guidance, or ask for the issues to be put in writing.
In reality, it would be very dangerous for a taxpayer to rely on a verbal conversation in relation to any important VAT matter, especially as the meaning of words can become distorted by regional accents or badly used phrases. A written ruling or professional advice is always the best option.
One suggestion may be to try the search facility on the HMRC section of the GOV.UK website. However, be mindful to always print off this information (and date it and retain it) just in case there is any problem with the accuracy of the guidance.
The helpline service is very effective for:
• Giving contact addresses and telephone numbers of different offices and sections of HMRC, eg where do I send a VAT 1 application to register for VAT?
• Posting public notices and giving details about where to find information on the website.
• Providing details of VAT forms that need to be completed in certain