Tax alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure
Produced in partnership with Anne Redston of Temple Tax Chambers
Tax alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure

The following Tax guidance note Produced in partnership with Anne Redston of Temple Tax Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Tax alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure
  • Status and scope of ADR procedure
  • What is ADR?
  • Advantages and disadvantages of ADR
  • Accessing ADR
  • Timing of ADR
  • The mediator

This Practice Note has been written by Anne Redston, Barrister. It is her personal view; she is not authorised to speak for the Tribunals Service or the judiciary.

This Practice Note explains the HMRC tax alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedure which was first introduced in 2010. For more information on ADR generally, see Practice Note: What is ADR?

Like litigation, ADR should be used only after attempts to resolve the dispute bilaterally in a collaborative way have failed.

Status and scope of ADR procedure

The ADR procedure is part of HMRC's Code of Governance for resolving tax disputes.

Under that Code, all disputes must be settled in accordance with HMRC’s Litigation and Settlement Strategy (LSS), including those resolved via ADR.

HMRC uses the LSS as a framework within which to resolve tax disputes:

  1. consistently with the law, whether by agreement with the customer or by litigation, and

  2. consistently with HMRC’s objectives of ‘securing the best practicable return for the Exchequer and HMRC’, while at the same time reducing costs and improving customer experience

The LSS states that:

‘in appropriate cases Alternative Dispute Resolution can help the resolution of disputes either by facilitating agreement between the parties or by helping the parties to prepare for litigation.’

Anyone considering resolving their dispute via ADR is advised to read both the LSS and the Commentary so that the context of