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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

How to do a compliance check: resolving issues and disputes: handling a dispute: agree timescales

Once you have established and clarified the point or points in dispute you should be in a position to agree and record the steps needed to settle the dispute.

You should agree a timescale for reaching key decision points and adhere to this wherever possible.

A typical timetable may include some or all of the following:

  • Information or documentation to help evidence any particular point

    • How?
    • By when?
    • Who will be responsible, and who else will be involved?
  • Reviewing any documentation

    • How?
    • By when?
    • Who will be responsible, and who else will be involved?
  • Understanding technical analyses and testing conclusions

    • How?
    • By when?
    • Who will be responsible, and who else will be involved?
  • Reaching decisions

    • How?
    • By when?
    • Who will be responsible, and who else will be involved?

The timetable should take into account

  • the reasons why the information is needed
  • the availability of information, and any expected difficulties in obtaining the information
  • where information is not readily available, any alternative ways of establishing the relevant facts
  • the nature and complexity of the point in dispute and
  • what both parties consider would be helpful to document.

If you have agreed to obtain advice or information from a third party that may help resolve the dispute, give an indication of when you expect to receive that by. You should also be prepared to chase up customer or third party delay, find out the reason for delay and agree revised timescales if appropriate.

By working collaboratively with the person and adhering to timescales you will help avoid long protracted disputes. Agreeing a timetable will mean both parties focus on resolving any open points.