Challenging a Tax Decision and Negotiating With HM Revenue and Customs

If you believe a wrong decision has been made by HM Revenue and Customs, you may wish to challenge or negotiate the matter. The produce to follow and the Tax Office to contact differs depending on the kind of challenge or argument.

Some of the shared procedures are:

  • appeals and challenging tax decisions. For example; against a tax calculation or PAYE code
  • seeking a waiver because you believe there have been HMRC delays
  • if you have tax debts and would like to negotiate them
  • believe HMRC are in breach of conduct. HM Revenue and Customs publishes a HMRC popularity charter about the level of service you can expect from them, and what they expect from you. We recommend you look at their charter, obtainable on their website, before making a complaint
  • When you are dealing with a complaint, query or negotiations, whether it be on the phone, in person or in writing, please remember to follow these tips:
  • prepare your query, complaint or negotiation in improvement
  • make notes of all the applicable facts beforehand
  • collect all evidence beforehand to sustain your complaint, query or negotiation
  • have a clear idea of the outcome/solution you are looking for
  • make clear records of who you speak to, their position, their department and what they said
  • stay calm at all times. Getting irate will not help you in any way whatsoever
  • say thank you to anyone who has been helpful and mention this and any helpful advice they give you in any letters you write to HMRC
  • be persistent
  • ask about popularity processes if you are eligible to any

For more information about challenging tax decisions or negotiation with HMRC, we recommend you seek the advice of a specialized adviser, for example, the Citizens Advice Bureau.

If you are not satisfied by the outcome of your complaint, query or negotiation, you have the option to escalate the matter with the Adjudicator or Ombudsman.

Please observe; we highly recommend you consult with a tax charity or specialist before you consider doing this.

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