HMRC’s complaint handling process

Taxpayers may find themselves in a position where they need to make a complaint to HMRC. Complaints can relate to many different issues such as unreasonable delays, mistakes and poor treatment by HMRC’s staff. Note, there is a separate procedure to be followed by taxpayers that disagree with a decision of HMRC. In such cases the review and appeals process should be followed.

HMRC operates a formal two-tier complaints process.  Tier 1 is the first attempt to resolve a complaint and HMRC aims to resolve as many complaints as possible at this stage. Taxpayers that wish to make a complaint should in the first instance usually write or speak to the person or office they have been dealing with.

If the response is unsatisfactory, a further request can be made for the complaint to be looked at again by a different complaints handler who will take a second look at the complaint and then provide a final response. This is known as a Tier 2 complaint and is HMRC’s second and final review.

Taxpayers that are still unhappy with the response, can ask the Independent Adjudicator to look into the matter. The Adjudicator is completely independent of the HMRC. If they are unhappy with the Independent Adjudicator’s decision it is possible to contact the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman via their MP.

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