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HMRC internal manual

Admin Law Manual

Incorrect Advice to Customers: Introduction

HMRC is responsible for a significant number of taxes, duties, contributions, credits and other services. Our customers sometimes need advice from us to get their affairs right. Case-specific advice can be

  • in writing, such as a clearance or a ruling after a compliance event
  • face-to-face
  • by phone.

It includes any instance where we advise a customer about a specific aspect of their tax affairs.

In the vast majority of cases the advice we give will be correct, but there will be occasions when we make a mistake and give incorrect advice.

This guidance is to help you decide when HMRC is bound by incorrect case-specific advice. It does not cover any other circumstances where we might give misleading advice, such as an incorrect public notice. If you think a customer has been misled by incorrect or misleading published guidance, you should contact the relevant technical advice team for further information.

Any reference in this guidance to tax or taxes includes all of the taxes, duties, contributions, credits etc for which HMRC is responsible, but see below for exceptions to this.

The terms remit and remission are used throughout this guidance to refer to both repaying tax wrongly paid or declared, and forgoing collection of tax which should have been paid or declared and has not.

There are special rules for cases relating to overdeclaration claims in indirect taxes. Please see ADML1500.

If your case concerns customs duties or import VAT, you must consult Notice 199 or Customs Directorate before making any remission.

For guidance on certain statutory clearances and approvals, see the information at clearances and approvals provided for in the Taxes Acts