A survey carried out by consumer watchdog Which? has found that people dialling HMRC helplines had to wait on average 38 minutes before getting through to a human and more than an hour if they call in the evening. The figure was much higher than last year's average wait time of 18 minutes. However, on the upside, only seven out of 100 calls carried out by Which? were cut off, compared to 29 out of 100 in the same survey last year. “The record is appalling,” said the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, Labour MP Meg Hillier. “It is vital that HMRC offers a good, timely service to people who are trying to do the right thing in terms of getting advice and paying their taxes.” Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “Our findings show how difficult it is to get through to HMRC's helplines with people facing lengthy waits. With many people seeking advice on their self-assessment tax return, HMRC must continue to work hard to improve customer service and reduce call waiting times.” However, HMRC said the survey was “out of date” and that it has revamped its service and the waiting time is down to six minutes. HMRC said: "We took major steps to improve, including the recruitment of 3,000 new staff into customer service roles."