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HMRC internal manual

Complaint Handling Guidance

Checklist for preparing reports for the Adjudicator or the Ombudsman

  • cover every aspect of the complaint, not just that part for which your business area is responsible
  • give a brief history of events with dates
  • set out the legislative context, which pieces of the law are in play, and why
  • set out what guidance is in play, and why, and say where it can be found
  • include relevant papers in date order (this includes taking any relevant printouts from our computer systems)
  • explain the purpose of any forms mentioned and, where appropriate, enclose a copy
  • comment on any errors or shortcomings on HMRC’s part
  • comment on whether you think the actions taken by the department were justified and explain why
  • mention any mitigating circumstances
  • identify any unresolved or outstanding matters
  • include a recommendation on what needs to be done to resolve the complaint or put right any mistakes
  • explain how and why you have reached your decision on remedy, including any financial redress
  • identify any lessons to be learned from the case and how these have been or are being implemented and, if appropriate, shared.

If a case involves sensitive or restricted documentation, consult CCAST on how to proceed.

If you send the file with a report, ensure all the papers are tidy and in date order. If the file is missing, telephone the person asking for the report immediately for advice on how to proceed.

Your business unit is responsible for:

  • ensuring the report is complete
  • sending the report to the Adjudicator, Ombudsman, or any other office appropriate in the circumstances (eg to CCAST or the CEO’s office)
  • meeting the deadline or letting the person asking for the report know of any delay.