Guidance

How to complain to the Adjudicator’s Office (AO1)

When and how to complain to the Adjudicator's Office about HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

You must first complain to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) or the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) before the Adjudicator’s Office can investigate your complaint.

You can ask HMRC or the VOA for a:

  • first review to consider your complaint
  • second review if you do not agree with the outcome

The Adjudicator’s Office investigation

The Adjudicator’s Office can look at your complaint about HMRC or the VOA if:

  • you’re the person affected by the complaint, or an authorised representative
  • you’ve asked for a first and second review from HMRC or the VOA
  • your complaint is one we can look at

The Adjudicator’s Office can only accept your complaint up to 6 months after you’ve received the second review from HMRC or the VOA.

What the Adjudicator’s Office can look at

The Adjudicator’s Office Service Level Agreement with HMRC and the VOA explains the types of complaint we can look at. The Adjudicator’s Office can investigate the following complaints:

  • if policy and guidance were applied fairly and consistently
  • administrative errors including unreasonable delays, mistakes and poor or misleading advice
  • how discretion was applied
  • staff conduct which led to poor customer service

What the Adjudicator’s Office cannot look at

The Adjudicator’s Office cannot look at:

  • matters of government or departmental policy
  • complaints where there is a specific right of determination by any court, tribunal, or other body with specific jurisdiction over the matter
  • valuation decisions of Statutory Officers in the VOA
  • complaints about whether HMRC or the VOA have complied with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and the Data Protection Act 2018
  • complaints about an ongoing investigation or enquiry
  • the formal decision made as part of the Alternative Dispute Resolution process
  • complaints about misconduct that could be considered by the Independent Office for Police Conduct or the Police Complaints Commission for Scotland
  • complaints about a commercial or employment contract between you and HMRC
  • complaints that have been or are being investigated by the Parliamentary Ombudsman

How to complain

To complain you can:

If your complaint is after the 6-months time period, tell us the reasons why and we may accept it in exceptional circumstances,

Complain about the Adjudicator’s Office service or decision

Information on how to complain about the Adjudicator’s service or decision is available.

Published 26 July 2019
Last updated 15 August 2019 + show all updates
  1. Welsh translation has been added.
  2. First published.