The Role of the Adjudicator

A guide to explain the role of the Adjudicator and Adjudicator’s Office when investigating complaints about HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

The role of the Adjudicator

  • Provide an independent review of complaints from customers that the department (HM Revenue and Customs/Valuation Office Agency) have been unable to resolve
  • Resolve complaints by providing an accessible and flexible service
  • Support and encourage effective complaint resolution
  • Use insight and expertise to support HMRC/VOA to learn from complaints and improve customer service

What we can look at

Our Service Level Agreement with the department defines the types of complaint we can look at. It sets out what we will investigate.

We can investigate the following complaints about the department:

  • Whether 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

There are certain types of complaints that we cannot look at. More information about these can be found on our How to complain to the Adjudicator’s Office guidance page.

What we do

  • Advise you what parts of your complaint we can investigate
  • Investigate your complaint, requesting information from the department where necessary to understand what happened
  • Make fair, balanced and impartial decisions based on evidence
  • If we uphold your complaint it means the department got things wrong and we will make a recommendation to them
  • We will provide a final written response
  • Feedback to the department on any lessons learned that can help improve customer service

How to complain

If you are dissatisfied with the service you received from the department, you can raise a complaint and ask them to review your case.

First review

Contact HMRC/VOA for them to consider your complaint. If your complaint is still not resolved, you can ask the department for a second review.

Second review

Contact HMRC/VOA for them to review your complaint.

Adjudicator’s Office independent review

For us to look at your complaint you must have completed both reviews. If you disagree with how the department has handled your complaint, you can ask us for a formal independent review, within 6 months of the department’s second review.

PHSO final review

If your complaint is still not resolved, you can ask an MP to put your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO)

What next

If you think we can look at your complaint, you can

Or write to us at:

Adjudicator’s Office
PO Box 10280

Complaint checklist

  • Clearly set out your complaint and what you would like to happen
  • Provide any evidence to support your complaint (if you need any documents returning, you will need to request them within our 50 working day retention policy)
  • Your telephone number and preferred method of contact
Published 10 September 2019