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.

Maximising Gift Aid Donations

Give and Receive Sharing Support Helping Others

The end of the tax year is just a few weeks away.

Gift Aid donations are regarded as having basic rate tax deducted by the donor. Charities or CASCs take your donation – which is money you’ve already paid tax on – and reclaim the basic rate tax from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) on its ‘gross’ equivalent – the amount before basic rate tax was deducted.

Basic rate tax is 20 per cent, so this means that if you give £10 using Gift Aid, it’s worth £12.50 to the charity.

A Gift Aid declaration must include:

  • your full name
  • your home address
  • the name of the charity
  • details of your donation, and it should say that it’s a Gift Aid donation

If you pay higher rate tax, you can claim the difference between the higher rate of tax 40 and/or 45 per cent and the basic rate of tax 20 per cent on the total ‘gross’ value of your donation to the charity or CASC.

For example, if you donate £100, the total value of your donation to the charity is £125 – so you can claim back:

  • £25 – if you pay tax at 40 per cent (£125 × 20%)
  • £31.25 – if you pay tax at 45 per cent (£125 × 20%) plus (£125 × 5%)

You can make this claim on your Self Assessment tax return

If you are a higher rate tax payer donations made in 2013/14 will save tax at 45 percent, but in 2012/13 the rate was 50 per cent.

You can ask for Gift Aid donations to be treated as being paid in the previous tax year if you paid enough tax that year to cover both any Gift Aid gifts you made that year and the ones you want to backdate.

So if you want to donate now (before the end of the tax year) you could claim back extra tax by carrying it back into the previous tax year.