HMRC set to introduce voice recognition technology to tax helplines

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is set to introduce voice recognition technology to a handful of its tax helplines, which will require taxpayers to vocally confirm their identity before being granted access to government services.

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Starting this month, a small selection of callers to the self assessment and tax credits helplines will be able to enrol for voice identification.

In a taxpayer’s first call, HMRC will ask them to repeat a vocal passphrase up to five times, with the individual then being passed back to an adviser to finalise the call.

The taxpayer’s recorded passphrase will then be securely stored, meaning that they can use their voice to confirm their identity once the service goes live.

The government hopes that the introduction of voice recognition technology will help to speed up the compulsory security steps that taxpayers must complete when calling HMRC.

Ruth Owen, Director General of Customer Services at HMRC, commented: ‘Millions of our customers are choosing to use our digital services rather than picking up a phone or pen, with more joining them every day.

‘But we know that not everyone can, or wants to, deal with us online, and so we’re continuing to improve our services across all contact channels. Voice identification is the latest example of the cutting-edge technology we are using to make it easier for people to manage their tax and tax credits.’

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