Make a complaint to HM Revenue & Customs

We welcome complaints as they provide an opportunity to put things right for you and to improve our service for all customers in the future. We will treat you no differently because you have made a complaint and will deal with your matter fairly and impartially.

On this page:

When to complain

If you are unhappy with our service, please let us know as soon as possible. Usually speaking to someone in the office you have been dealing with, or to one of our helplines, will allow us to put things right quickly. Their number will be on any papers they have sent you. If they are unable to resolve your concerns, you may like to follow our formal complaints procedure which is set out in this guide.

Examples of things that you may not be happy with are:

  • unreasonable delays
  • mistakes
  • how you have been treated by our staff

If you don't agree with an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) decision, such as the amount of tax or charges we've asked you to pay, then you may need to follow the review and appeals process instead. To find out more, follow the link below which will take you to our appeals guidance.

What to do if you disagree with an HMRC decision

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How to complain

If you have spoken to staff at the office you have been dealing with, or to our helpline staff and they have been unable to resolve your concerns, they will refer your complaint to a complaints handler.

We recognise that sometimes you won't feel comfortable raising your concerns with the person or office concerned directly. In this case, when you contact us you can ask for your complaint to be referred to a complaints handler straight away.

We accept complaints by telephone or in writing.

Contact us by phone

If you would like to phone and don't have our contact details to hand, you can telephone the HMRC helpline that relates to your complaint.

Tax Credit Helpline: 0345 300 3900
Self Assessment Helpline: 0300 200 3310
National Insurance Helpline: 0300 200 3500
Child Benefit Helpline: 0300 200 3100
VAT, Excise and Customs Helpline: 0300 200 3700
Income Tax Helpline: 0300 200 3300
Employer Helpline: 0300 200 3200

If the area of HMRC you wish to complain about is not listed above then you can contact HMRC and they will be able to direct you.

For further contact details please visit our Contact Us pages.

Contact Us

If you are calling from outside the UK, you'll find a number for calls from overseas on the Contact Us page for the subject area.

Contact us in writing

If you would prefer to write to us, you can write to the address listed on any papers we have sent you. If you do not have any papers, please write to HMRC. You can find the address by following the link above. It will help us to direct your complaint to a complaints handler quickly if you clearly mark your letter as a complaint.

Information you'll need to provide

However you contact us, please tell us as much as you can about your complaint, including:

  • what went wrong
  • when it happened
  • who you dealt with
  • what effect our actions had on you
  • how you'd like us to put things right
  • your full name and address
  • any relevant reference numbers (your National Insurance number, tax reference, VAT number, employer reference etc) so that we can quickly identify your records

If your complaint is about serious misconduct by one of our staff, see our section below.

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What to expect when you complain

If things have gone wrong we want to know about it so that we can say sorry, put things right and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Making a complaint will not affect how we treat you in the future. When you make a complaint, we will:

  • give you the name and contact details of the person handling your complaint
  • look into your complaint thoroughly
  • handle your complaint confidentially
  • try to solve the problem and give you a response as quickly as we can
  • let you know who to contact if you are still unhappy

Putting things right

If we've done something wrong, we will apologise, explain what happened and put things right as quickly as we can.

We will consider refunding you for any reasonable costs directly caused by our mistakes or unreasonable delays, such as:

  • postage
  • phone calls
  • professional fees

You will need to tell us about these costs as soon as you can and keep any receipts as we may ask to see them.

If you think our actions have affected you particularly badly, causing you worry or distress, tell us straight away. In some cases we may be able to make a small payment to acknowledge this and apologise.

Where we make a mistake or delay using information you have given us, and we send you a late tax bill or pay you too much tax credits, we may not collect the full amount you owe. There are very strict conditions in these situations, so please ask the person who deals with your complaint for more information.

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What you can do if you want to take your complaint further

We hope that the complaints handler is able to resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. However, if you are still unhappy, you can ask us to look at it again. We will arrange for your complaint to be reviewed by a different complaints handler and then give you a final response. Once we have given you that response, HMRC's complaints procedure is at an end.

The Adjudicator

If you remain unhappy, you can ask the Adjudicator to look into your complaint. The Adjudicator is a fair and unbiased referee, and the service is free. The Adjudicator will only look at your complaint after it has been considered by HMRC.

Visit the Adjudicator's website (Opens new window)

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman

You can also ask your MP to refer your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will normally expect you to have had your complaint considered by HMRC and the Adjudicator before they will consider your case.

Visit the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman website (Opens new window)

Find your local MP (Opens new window)

Complaints factsheet C/FS - information for agents

When we respond to your complaint, we will send you a Complaints factsheet C/FS. The factsheet tells you what you can do if you are unhappy with our service. It also tells you more about The Adjudicator and the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Go to Complaints factsheet C/FS (PDF 56K)

Following a successful trial with some selected agents we'll now stop sending these factsheets to all agents who complain about Self Assessment or Income Tax. Instead, we'll tell you in our letters where you can find the relevant factsheet or more information on our website.

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Handling your tax matters while you are complaining

Where tax is due, while HMRC, the Adjudicator, or the Parliamentary Ombudsman are dealing with your complaint, you should continue to pay the amounts due. If you stop or delay your payments you may be charged interest or penalties.

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Getting someone to complain for you

You can ask someone else to complain for you. This could be a relative, friend, or professional adviser. There are also many voluntary organisations that may be able to help you. See how to get further help and advice below. Whoever you choose, you will need to authorise us to give that person confidential information about your financial matters.

How to deal with HMRC for someone else

Authorising someone to deal with HMRC for you

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How to get further help and advice

You can get further help and advice from a professional adviser who is independent. Voluntary organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, TaxAid or Tax Help for Older People can also help, visit their websites.

Citizens Advice Bureau (Opens new window)

Tax Aid (Opens new window)

Tax Help for Older People (Opens new window)

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Complaints about serious misconduct by HMRC staff

If you want to complain about misconduct by HMRC staff the quickest way to get your complaint addressed is to follow the complaint process set out in the 'How to complain' section of this guide.

However, we recognise you may have genuine concerns about following this route for allegations of serious misconduct against an individual member of HMRC staff so in these circumstances you can contact a dedicated team within HMRC. By serious misconduct we mean:

  • fraud
  • corruption
  • disclosure of customer information
  • assault leading to death or serious injury

Find out how to make a serious misconduct complaint

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More useful links

Customers with particular needs - making our services available to all our customers

Read more about what you can expect from us and we expect from you in 'Your Charter' (Opens new window)

Welsh language service 'Sut i gwyno i Gyllid a Thollau EM' (Opens new window)

Guidance on how to complain about UK Border Agency officers at ports and airports (Opens new window)