To make a complaint to HMRC, taxpayers can log in to their Government Gateway account online, or by phone or post. Complaints can be made by an individual or by a business and can be made on the taxpayer’s behalf by a professional adviser, a friend or relative, or a voluntary organisation, such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, TaxAid, or Tax Help for Older People. To make a complaint on someone’s behalf, they must be first authorised by HMRC. Complaints are advised to be made as soon as possible.

To complain via your Government Gateway – click here

However, these methods cannot be used to dispute the amount of tax that is due or tax penalties, or to complain about serious misconduct by HMRC staff.

It is also important that the taxpayer continues to pay tax while the complaint is being dealt with, as this may result in penalties.

How HMRC handles complaints

HMRC states that when a complaint is made, they will:

  • try to resolve the problem;
  • nottreat the taxpayer any differently due to a complaint being made;
  • handlethe complaint confidentially;
  • providethe name and contact details of the person who is dealing with the complaint;
  • considerrefunds for reasonable costs incurred by mistakes or delays;
  • keepthe taxpayer informed of the progress of the complaint; and
  • providedetails of who to contact if the complaintis not resolved satisfactorily.

If the person who is contacted in the first instance cannot resolve the complaint, it will be passed to a customer service advisor. Or, the complaint can be made directly to a customer service advisor from the outset.

When making a complaint, it is important that the taxpayer gives sufficient information to allow the complaint to be investigated and the matter put right. This includes information such as what happened and when. Who dealt with it, the effect of HMRC’s actions, and what action the taxpayer would like to be taken to resolve matters. The taxpayer’s full name and address and any relevant reference numbers should also be provided.

Disagreeing with the outcome

If HMRC does not resolve matters to the taxpayer’s satisfaction, there are further routes that can be taken. In this first instance, a different customer service advisor will investigate and review the complaint for a second and final time. If this still does not resolve matters once HMRC have provided a final response, the taxpayer can ask the Adjudicator’s Office to investigate the complaint, this service is free. Thereafter, the matter can be referred to the Parliamentary and HealthService Ombudsman via the taxpayer’s MP.

Part of the service

Gold Stag Accounts clients can be reassured that if in the event of a possible error, we as agents will correspond with HMRC on their behalf to straighten out the matter.