How HMRC advice and information can help you

Check how the advice and information we give applies to you, what you can expect from us and what to do if you think you have incorrect information.

Advice and information include things like:

  • letters
  • phone calls
  • pages on
  • webchat
  • posts on Twitter

Why we offer advice

HMRC offers advice and information including guidance, to help you with your:

  • obligations
  • liabilities
  • entitlements

It is your choice if you act on this advice and information or not.

How this applies to you

HMRC publishes information and guidance that answers many common questions. However, it may not give you a definitive answer in every situation. If this is the case you may want to either:

Any advice and information HMRC gives about your specific request still applies to you, even it was given to someone you have appointed to deal with HMRC on your behalf.

What happens if HMRC gives you incorrect advice and information

You may be able to rely on incorrect advice and information from HMRC, if it’s both:

  • reasonable for you to expect this
  • very unfair for HMRC to act in a different way from the advice and information given

HMRC will take a number of things into account when considering this. In some cases, there may be a strong reason for HMRC to act in a different way from the advice and information given.

Where relevant, HMRC will generally consider whether:

  • you told HMRC about all the relevant facts
  • HMRC’s advice and information was clear and certain
  • you already relied on the advice and information and would be worse off if HMRC did not act in line with it

Once it is clear HMRC’s advice and information was incorrect, you must make sure to use the correct advice and information going forward.

If advice and information changes

HMRC have a duty to collect the correct amount of tax as required by the law as it applies at the time.

Advice is also based on the understanding of the law at the time it is given. If this is changed by the courts, we must collect the correct amount of tax as required by the new understanding of the law.

This may mean that HMRC can no longer be bound by advice, information or guidance it has previously given. We may decide not to apply the new understanding retrospectively and may only apply it moving forward instead.

Right of appeal

There is no general right of appeal against the advice and information HMRC provides, except where rights of appeal are set out in law.

Find out information about:

More information

You can find out what you can expect from us and what we expect from you in the HMRC Charter.

You can also find more detailed guidance on the law covering incorrect advice and information to customers in:

Published 4 March 2009
Last updated 30 June 2023 + show all updates
  1. This guide has been updated with links to more detailed information about how HMRC can help and advise you.

  2. First published.