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Tax credits - how to complain

The Tax Credit Office aims to provide a good service, but mistakes and delays can happen and you have the right to complain about poor service.

On this page:

When to complain

If you've had a bad experience, let the Tax Credit Office know as soon as possible. You may want to complain about:

  • mistakes you think they have made
  • unreasonable delays
  • how you've been treated

The Tax Credit Office is keen to learn from errors and put things right as quickly as possible.

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How to complain

Step 1 - Contact the Complaints Manager

As a first step, you should contact the Tax Credits Complaints Manager by:

  • calling the Helpline on Tel 0845 300 3900 or textphone 0845 300 3909
  • writing to: Complaints Manager, Tax Credit Office, PO Box 145, Preston, PR1 0SB
  • visiting any HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Enquiry Centre

Tell them all you can about your complaint, including:

  • what went wrong
  • when it happened
  • who you dealt with
  • how you would like it settled

If you write in, put 'Complaint' at the top of your letter and include your:

  • full name and address
  • National Insurance number
  • telephone number

They'll look at your concerns and contact you - normally within 15 days. They try to resolve most complaints at this stage.

They try to resolve most complaints at this stage.

Step 2 - Ask the Tax Credit Office to look at your complaint again

If you're unhappy with their response, you can ask them to look at your complaint again. They will:

  • take a fresh look at it and how they've handled it
  • give you a final decision

You can do this in writing, by phone or you can ask the person you've been dealing with to do it for you.

Step 3 - Ask the Adjudicator to look at your complaint

If you're unhappy with this decision you can ask the Adjudicator to look into your complaint. The Adjudicator is an independent referee and can be contacted at:

The Adjudicator's Office
8th Floor
Euston Tower
286 Euston Road
London
NW1 3US

Tel 0300 057 1111 or 020 7667 1832
Fax 0300 057 1212 or 020 7667 1830

Step 4 - Ombudsman

If you're still not happy with how your complaint's been handled, you can ask an MP to refer your case to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.

For more information:

  • visit the Parliamentary Ombudsman Service website
  • call the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman Helpline on Tel 0845 015 4033
  • send a fax on 020 7217 4000
  • send an email to phso.enquiries@ombudsman.org.uk

You can also ask your MP to take up your case with HMRC or Treasury Ministers.

Visit the Parliamentary Ombudsman website

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What to expect from the Tax Credit Office when you complain

If you need to complain the Tax Credit Office will:

  • tell you that they've received your complaint, who's dealing with it and when they'll reply
  • treat your complaint seriously and confidentially
  • not treat you differently from other people because you've made a complaint
  • not discriminate against you for any reason

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Claiming back costs

You may be able to claim costs caused by the Tax Credit Office’s mistakes like:

  • postage
  • phone calls
  • travel expenses
  • professional fees
  • financial charges

They may make a small payment if:

  • they caused you a lot of worry
  • your complaint was handled badly
  • they took too long to deal with your complaint

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More useful links

Download a factsheet on complaints and putting things right (PDF 263K)

How to make an appeal against a tax credit decision

How to dispute a tax credits overpayment

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