HMRC policy on ADR

By Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford

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

  • HMRC policy on ADR
  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Pilot schemes
  • Litigation Settlement Strategy
  • Further guidance on ADR
  • Other issues


Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is widely used in the commercial world as a cheaper, more time efficient and effective alternative to formal litigation in dealing with issues and disagreements. ADR can come in a number of different formats including mediation, arbitration and third party negotiation.

HMRC disputes historically tended to be resolved either by protracted correspondence and negotiation or in Commissioners’ hearings. Enquiries were often time consuming and costly affairs with neither party achieving a satisfactory outcome.

Following the success of pilot schemes HMRC has stated that ADR is business as usual for Local Compliance SME from 2013/14.


From around 2005 onwards HMRC underwent a large number of changes following the merger of Customs & Excise and the Inland Revenue. A number of reviews into various HMRC practices were undertaken , including dealing with enquiries and investigations. Coming up to 2010 there were reviews of the Commissioners system, resulting in the new Tribunal system, as well as guidance being issued on related matters such as the Litigation Settlement Strategy through to the timely resolution of complex international tax enquiries. The regulations and guidance surrounding HMRC disputes has been a rapidly changing are

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