Questions about your tax: writing to HM Revenue and Customs
Information about when you should write to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and what details to provide.
Before you contact HMRC
You can view your tax returns and liabilities through HMRC Online Services. To do this you should log in, select ‘At a Glance’; and then ‘View Account’.
Alternatively, if you’ve already set up a Business Tax Dashboard you can use this to view the information for the last 15 months.
There’s also a range of general guidance on subjects including:
- payments and refunds
- links to downloadable forms, guidance and notices
If you still can’t find what you need, you can check below whether your query is one that HMRC will be able to help you with.
What you can write to HMRC about
HMRC helplines can answer most questions relating to tax, but there may be times when you need to write to HMRC if:
- you’ve looked at all the published information and can’t find the answer to your question
- HMRC published guidance is unclear when applied to your particular situation
- you’ve already contacted a helpline and they’ve asked you to write
If HMRC already publish information that answers your question, they will reply to you and give the relevant details.
Getting confirmation about tax law - clearances
HMRC aim to make help and guidance as clear as possible. If you feel that the guidance doesn’t explain how the law will apply in a particular situation, HMRC may be able to provide advance clearance or approval for some transactions. A clearance is written confirmation of HMRC’s view of how tax law is applied to a specific transaction or event. For further information on how to request this please read Non-statutory clearance service guidance.
Questions that HMRC will not answer
HMRC won’t answer questions about:
- situations where you want to know what might happen in certain circumstances (hypothetical questions)
- cases where you’re already aware of the relevant guidance but are seeking confirmation that it applies to your transaction
- other businesses’ tax affairs, unless you’ve got permission to act on their behalf
- a VAT supply where you are the customer - HMRC won’t supply a VAT ruling to a supplier’s customer unless they disagree with the supplier’s original decision and the relevant Public Notice doesn’t cover the matter of concern
- situations that may help you with ‘tax planning’ or the creation of schemes to avoid paying tax
Information to provide
When you write to or email HMRC, you need to provide key information to help them deal with your question. Without this information, HMRC can’t deal with your question and will have to contact you to ask for it - which means there will be a delay before you get a full reply.
You should give at least one of the following reference numbers to help HMRC work out who should handle your questions:
- company registration number
- Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer reference (10 digits)
- VAT registration number
- employer’s PAYE reference number
Please say if your enquiry is about:
- employer taxes
- other taxes/duties
You should also include:
- the business name
- your name
- your role in the business
- your telephone number
- the full business address including postcode
If you are an agent contacting HMRC on behalf of a client give your full name, address, telephone number and your client reference number. You should also say whether you have authorisation from your client through a 64-8 or an online authorisation (giving the reference if you have one).
Contact HMRC by email
HMRC is committed to your security but can’t guarantee the security of emails you send to us or we send to you over the internet as there is:
- a risk that email sent over the internet may be intercepted, and
- no guarantee that an email received over an insecure network hasn’t been altered during transit
Therefore any information you send us by email is at your own risk.
It is important that you assess the risks of using email to send information or to receive it from HMRC.
By contacting HMRC by emailing email@example.com you are confirming that you understand and accept the risks involved in using email. We may not always be able to reply by email, in which case we will send our reply by post.
A reply to your question(s) will only be sent to the email address that you provide if we can verify that you are authorised to receive the information. Our reply may include information that we hold about your tax affairs.
Please make sure you give the email address you want HMRC to reply to. It is your responsibility to make sure that you have given the correct email address. If you don’t wish to receive a reply by email please make clear that you want a reply by post.