The ADR pilot was launched in January 2012 and is now available to all individuals and small businesses nationwide whose affairs are handled by Local Compliance SME and Local Compliance Individuals and Public Bodies.
ADR uses independent HMRC facilitators to resolve disputes between HMRC and customers during a compliance check, either before or after a decision or assessment has been made.
HMRC’s Richard Summersgill, Director of Local Compliance, said:
ADR has shown that many disputes, where an impasse has been reached, can be resolved quickly without having to go to tribunal.
ADR is a fair and even-handed way of resolving tax disputes between HMRC and its customers and helps save time and costs for everyone.
We have had good feedback from both SMEs and individual customers and are grateful to the professional bodies and the wider agent community for their assistance and support during the pilot stages. It allows us to work together with our customers and resolve disputes much earlier than at present.
An announcement on how ADR will continue to be used in larger and more complex cases will be made shortly.
The facilitators are HMRC members of staff who have been trained in ADR techniques and have not been involved in the dispute.
ADR does not affect existing processes or review and appeal rights, and covers both VAT and direct taxes.
Find more information Tax disputes: Alternative Dispute Resolution