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  • How to complain to HM Revenue & Customs

How to complain to HM Revenue & Customs

We welcome complaints as they provide an opportunity to put things right for you and to improve our service for all customers in the future. We will treat you no differently because you have made a complaint and will deal with your matter fairly and impartially.

On this page:

When to complain

If you are unhappy with the service we have provided to you, please let us know as soon as possible. Usually speaking to someone in the office you have been dealing with, or to one of our helplines, will allow us to put things right quickly. Their number will be on any papers they have sent you. If they are unable to resolve your concerns, you may like to follow our formal complaints procedure which is set out in this guide.

Examples of things that can go wrong are:

  • unreasonable delays
  • mistakes
  • how you have been treated by our staff

If you don't agree with an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) decision, such as the amount of tax or charges we've asked you to pay, then you may need to follow the review and appeals process instead. To find out more, follow the link below which will take you to our appeals guidance.

What to do if you disagree with an HMRC decision


How to complain

If you have spoken to staff at the office you have been dealing with, or to our helpline staff and they have been unable to resolve your concerns, they will refer your complaint to a complaints handler.

We recognise that sometimes you won't feel comfortable raising your concerns with the person or office concerned directly. In this case, when you contact us you can ask for your complaint to be referred to a complaints handler straight away.

We accept complaints by telephone or in writing.

Contact us by phone

If you would like to phone and don’t have our contact details to hand, you can telephone the HMRC helpline that relates to your complaint.

Tax Credits Helpline: 0845 300 3900

Self Assessment Helpline: 0845 900 0444

National Insurance Helpline: 0845 302 1479

Child Benefit Helpline: 0845 302 1444

VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline: 0845 010 9000

If the area of HMRC you wish to complain about is not listed above then you can contact a Tax Office and they will be able to direct you. You can find the number by following the link below and entering information such as your postcode or employer reference number.

Find your Tax Office

If you are calling from outside the UK, please phone our Helpline for non-UK residents on Tel 0044 151 210 2222.

Contact us in writing

If you would prefer to write to us, you can write to the address listed on any papers we have sent you. If you do not have any papers, please write to a Tax Office. You can find the address by following the link above. It will help us to direct your complaint to a complaints handler quickly if you clearly mark your letter as a complaint.

Information you'll need to provide

However you contact us, please tell us as much as you can about your complaint, including:

  • what went wrong
  • when it happened
  • who you dealt with
  • what effect our actions had on you
  • how you'd like us to put things right
  • your full name and address
  • any relevant reference numbers (your National Insurance number, tax reference, VAT number, employer reference etc) so that we can quickly identify your records

If your complaint is about serious misconduct by one of our staff, see our section below.


What to expect when you complain

If things have gone wrong we want to know about it so that we can say sorry, put things right and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Making a complaint will not affect how we treat you in the future. When you make a complaint, we will:

  • give you the name and contact details of the person handling your complaint
  • look into your complaint thoroughly
  • handle your complaint confidentially
  • try to solve the problem and give you a response as quickly as we can
  • let you know who to contact if you are still unhappy

Putting things right

If we've done something wrong, we will apologise, explain what happened and put things right as quickly as we can.

We will consider refunding you for any reasonable costs directly caused by our mistakes or unreasonable delays, such as:

  • postage
  • phone calls
  • professional fees

You will need to tell us about these costs as soon as you can and keep any receipts as we may ask to see them.

If you think our actions have affected you particularly badly, causing you worry or distress, tell us straight away. In some cases we may be able to make a small payment to acknowledge this and apologise.

Where we make a mistake or delay using information you have given us, and we send you a late tax bill or pay you too much tax credits, we may not collect the full amount you owe. There are some very strict conditions in these situations, so please ask the person who deals with your complaint for more information.


What you can do if you want to take your complaint further

We hope that the complaints handler is able to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. However, if you are still unhappy, you can ask us to look at it again. We will arrange for your complaint to be reviewed by a different complaints handler and then give you a final response. Once we have given you that response, HMRC's complaints procedure is at an end.

The Adjudicator

If you remain unhappy, you can send your complaint and our response to the Adjudicator and ask them to look into it. The Adjudicator is a fair and unbiased referee, and the service is free. The Adjudicator will only look at your complaint after it has been considered by HMRC.

Visit the Adjudicator's website (Opens new window)

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

You can also ask your MP to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will normally expect you to have had your complaint considered by HMRC and the Adjudicator before they will consider your case.

Visit the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website (Opens new window)

Find your local MP (Opens new window)


Handling your tax matters while you are complaining

Where tax is due, while we are dealing with your complaint, you should continue to pay the amounts due. If you stop or delay your payments you may be charged interest or penalties.


Complaints about serious misconduct by HMRC staff

If your complaint is about serious staff misconduct, such as assault or corruption, please follow the complaints process set out above. If you have concerns about this and would prefer to contact an independent complaints coordinator, you can call us on Tel 020 7084 4500 or write to us at:

HM Revenue & Customs
PO Box 64353


Getting someone to complain for you

You can ask someone else to complain for you. This could be a professional adviser, or there are many voluntary organisations that may be able to help such as the Citizens Advice Bureau. Alternatively, a friend or relative can complain for you. Whoever you choose, you will need to authorise us to give that person confidential information about your financial matters.

How to deal with HMRC for someone else

Authorising someone to deal with HMRC for you

Citizen's Advice Bureau (Opens new window)


How to get further help and advice

You can get further help and advice from a professional adviser who is independent or from a voluntary organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau. Their number is in the phone book or you can visit their website.

Citizens Advice Bureau (Opens new window)


More useful links

Customers with particular needs - making our services available to all our customers

Read more about what you can expect from us and we expect from you in 'Your Charter'

Welsh language service 'Sut i gwyno i Gyllid a Thollau EM' (Opens new window)

Guidance on how to complain about UK Border Agency officers at ports and airports (Opens new window)

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