Complaining to HMRC


Sometimes things take longer than expected and often business owners can feel powerless against HMRC.

HMRC set out their guidance in CRG4050 which states…

The following checklist will help you to decide whether a delay was unreasonable. It is not exhaustive and you should take account of all relevant factors in a specific case.

Establish the basic facts:

  • Identify the customer. Who was affected by the delay?
  • When did the customer first contact us? (This will normally be the starting point for a period of delay.)
  • When did we finally resolve the issue? (This will normally be the end of a period of delay.)
  • How complex was the query/process? (It would be reasonable to expect complex work to take more time to complete.)
  • What are our normal practices/standards? (Take these into account but remember that failure to meet published service standards will not necessarily constitute unreasonable delay.)
  • What was the impact of the delay on the customer? (This is the link between the consequences of unreasonable delay and the appropriate remedy.)

Examine our actions:

  • Were there periods of inactivity on our part which should not have occurred?
  • Did we contribute to the delay through poor communication?
  • Did we manage the customer’s expectations? (For example, did we deal with the customer proactively and keep them informed of progress?)
  • How have we treated the customer in the past? (For example, the customer may have become used to a very quick turnaround.)

Examine the customer’s actions:

  • Did the customer tell us all the relevant facts? (Delays or their consequences might have been avoided if the customer had given us sufficient facts.)
  • Did the customer keep us up to date?
  • Did the customer tell us of changes that might have had a bearing on the urgency of our actions?

If you feel you have a valid compliant the following guidance tells you how to complain.