This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Complaints and Remedy Guidance

Payments for worry and distress: Unreasonable delay

Sometimes our unreasonable delays can cause worry and distress to our customers. Again, listen to what the customer has to say about the impact of the delay. Sometimes a very long delay will have no impact, such as when a technical point remains unresolved and neither the customer nor we show any concern about this. But at other times, such as during an enquiry, a long delay can be very stressful for the customer.

Remember that we are looking at our unreasonable delay causing real worry and distress. Our delays may inconvenience people but the impact needs to go beyond this if we are to pay financial redress. The customer’s initial approach or complaint to us may well give the best insight into what effect our delay has actually had.