HMRC complaints process

By Tolley in association with Simon Oakes

The following Corporation Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Simon Oakes provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • HMRC complaints process
  • Introduction
  • HMRC’s three tier complaints process
  • What happens if the complaint is upheld?
  • The Parliamentary Ombudsman
  • Scope of HMRC’s complaints process
  • Other factors for advisers to take into account
  • HMRC disputes, complaints and the legal alternatives


When HMRC has acted mistakenly, unreasonably, disproportionately, unfairly or not in accordance with their published guidance, there is an accessible and customer focused complaints process available through which redress can be sought.

In the right circumstances, HMRC’s complaints process can be used to provide an effective and economical means of seeking redress. This applies across the whole spectrum of taxes work, not just with HMRC investigations or straightforward service delivery failures. It is not a universal panacea, but it is an option tax advisers should always consider when HMRC has got it wrong or acted unreasonably.

The purpose of this guidance note is to explain how this process can be used effectively. It draws on published case studies provided by the Adjudicator’s annual reports as illustrative examples.

Complaints concerning serious and / or potentially criminal misbehaviour by HMRC staff

Complaints concerning serious and / or potentially criminal misbehaviour by HMRC staff fall outside the scope of HMRC’s normal complaints process. Instead, the complaint should be reported either by phone to 03000 577875 or set out in writing and sent to:

HM Revenue and Customs
PO Box 64353
EC30 3AW

See Factsheet C/FS .

It is suggested that, for record keeping purposes, the complaint is made in writing. For a list of the particulars which should be included in the letter, see the GOV.UK website .

HMRC’s three tier complaints process

HMRC has a three tier complaints process. The first two tiers are handled within the relevant HMRC business unit and it is there to which any complaint should be sent (see below). All taxpayers are entitled to

More on Tax compliance risk management process: