News story

HMRC launches Alternative Dispute Resolution service

A way for small businesses and individuals to resolve disputes with HMRC is being launched today after a successful trial.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) uses independent HMRC facilitators to resolve disputes between HMRC and customers during a compliance check. It aims to find a fair and quick outcome for both parties, helping to reduce their costs and avoid a tribunal.

It follows a two-year trial and extensive consultation with professional bodies and the voluntary sector.

Richard Summersgill, HMRC Director of Local Compliance, said:

I am delighted to announce that Alternative Dispute Resolution for small businesses and individuals has entered mainstream HMRC business.

We know that taxpayers like the speed and flexibility of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and evidence has shown that by using the simple service, many disputes can be significantly shortened and resolved without recourse to Tribunal.

ADR is available to small business and individual taxpayers where a tax issue is in dispute, whether or not an appealable tax decision or assessment has been made by HMRC.

Visit our website for more information on ADR, including how to apply for the process visit.

ADR covers both VAT and direct taxes disputes, and entering into the ADR process will not affect the taxpayer’s existing review and appeal rights.

ADR is open to all customers nationwide whose tax affairs are handled by HMRC’s Local Compliance SME and Local Compliance Individuals and Public Bodies business units.

ADR cannot guarantee resolution of the dispute but, by the end of the process, taxpayers will have clarity on the outstanding issues and what happens next.

Published 2 September 2013