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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

Introduction: Complaints and appeals

From time to time customers may write to HMRC because they are unhappy about their tax affairs. It may not always be clear whether they wish to disagree with

  • a decision by HMRC, or
  • they wish to complain about service they have received from HMRC, or
  • both.

If the decision maker receives correspondence from a customer whose intentions are not clear, they should contact the customer, by phone if possible, to establish what they are unhappy about and what action they want to take. For evidential reasons it is important to keep a contemporaneous record of any phone calls, where practicable.

If the decision maker receives any correspondence that is an expression of dissatisfaction or a complaint, and the customer also disagrees with HMRC’s decision, they should send a copy of the correspondence to the appropriate team or person responsible for complaints.

The disagreement and complaint can be dealt with at the same time and in the usual way. But the decision maker (and review officer and/or tribunals caseworker if the case progresses to review and/or appeal) must continue to liaise with the person dealing with the complaint as appropriate.