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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Contact - complaints handling (except CSSG): Handling complaints (Introduction)

Complaints about tax credits can be made in a variety of ways - such as by phone, face-to-face or in writing to different offices. These offices can include

  • Contact Centres
  • Enquiry Centres
  • Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) / Department for Social Development (DSD)
  • Tax Credit Office (TCO).

To ensure a consistent approach, general advice about the informal complaints process is set out in this section of the Tax Credits Manual. More specific tax credits complaints advice is set out in the Customer Service Manual (at Chapter 7) and the Redress Handbook. It’s standard HMRC practice to try and resolve the issue immediately at the first point of contact. These complaints are regarded as informal unless the first point of contact is TCO Customer Service and Support Group (CSSG).

An apology and confirmation of any error or misunderstanding must be given without attaching blame and confirmation must also be given that it has been, or will be, put right speedily and effectively.

If the issue isn’t resolved at first point of contact and the customer wants to take their complaint further, you must pass the complaint to CSSG, which will

  • acknowledge the complaint in writing
  • provide the name and contact details of the officer who will deal with the complaint.

Guidance on complaints and compensation to customers is provided through the leaflet ‘C/FS - Complaints and putting things right’.

When a tax credits complaint is made to a DWP or DSD office, face-to-face or by phone, an attempt must be made to satisfy the complainant with an explanation. A complaint made in writing will be referred to TCO CSSG.