New announcement. Learn more


News and advice to help make your property business a success

Landlords TaxProperty TaxLandlords Tax ReturnsLandlords AccountsProperty Tax ReturnProperty AccountsLandlords FinancialTax ReturnsTaxLandlords AccountantChartered AccountantsOnline AccountantOnline BookkeepingOnline Tax ReturnsYour Online AccountantYour Online BookkeeperBusinessadviceAccountingVATCashflowProperty AccountantSmallbusinessBusinesstipsCapital Gains TaxDividendsExpensesIhtexemptionsInheritance TaxPropertySDLTTaxplanningCgtFurnished Holiday LettingsHMRCIncome TaxInvestment Property TaxNICPAYEPensionProperty bookkeeperTaxreturnAllowable Business ExpensesAnnual Exempt AmountBusiness ExpensesBusiness RateCapital AllowancesCapital GainsCapital gains tax propertyCashbasisComplianceDeductibleexpensesDisincorporationEmployment AllowanceFHLsFinanceFinancialmanagementGiftsHMRC complaintsHoliday Lets TaxLettingsMaking Tax DigitalMakingTaxDigitalMileage AllowanceMobilephonesNational InsuranceOverlapreliefPartnershipPartnershipbusinessesPprProperty Company TaxProperty Tax Deductible ExpensesPropertyallowanceReimbursedexpensesRent a Room ReliefResidence ReliefSmall BusinessTax free incomeTax ReliefTimetoPayVAT invoice60 day capital gains limitAbolitionclass2AccrualsbasisAcquisitionsAdvisoryfuelratesAIAirBnBAlphabet sharesAmapAnnual Tax on Enveloped DwellingsAppealArtificial intelligenceAssessmentAsset disposalAssociated CompanyAssociated Company Tax RulesAutumnstatementBad DebtBad Debt Tax ReliefBaddebtsBadgesoftradeBeancounterBenefits in KindBreakeven PointBudgetBusiness adviceBusiness asset defermentBusiness coachBusiness ContinuityBusiness EntertainmentBusiness RatesBusiness Rates ReliefBusiness tipsBusinessgrowthBusinesstypesBuy or Lease EquipmentBuytoletCapital Allowances for CarsCapital GainCapitalallowancesCapitalexpenditureCar Capital AllowancesCarry Back LossesChange of Tax BasisChatGPTChild BenefitCIS SchemeCommon TenantCompanies ExpenditureCompanies HouseCompany Account DeadlinesCompany Account FilingCompany Strike OffCompany Tax Efficient PropertyCompanyassociationCompanyloanstaxfreeCompulsory Strike OffConstruction Industry SchemeContacthmrcContentmarketingContributionsCorporation Tax LossesCorporation Tax New RegimeCorporation Tax RatesCorporationTaxCostsCryptocurrencyCustomerlistimplicationsDeductible Business ExpensesDeductionsDemergerDepreciationDevelopmentDirectorsDirectors LoansDirectorsloansDisallowable Business ExpensesDiscoveryDividend allowanceDividend Allowance ReductionDividend PlanningDividendallowanceDLADomestic Items Tax ReliefDormantcompanyEISEmployee DiscountEmployee managementEmployeecompensationpaymentsEmployeeOwnershipTrustEndoflifeplanningEnquiryEnterpriseResourcePlanningEntertainmentEntrepreneurmindsetEquityExpenses Allowed For TaxExtrabenefitEyetestsFlippingFurnished Holiday Lets TaxGift AidGift AllowanceGrowthhacksHelp to pay tax billsHICBCHMO Licensing FeesHoldoverreliefHoliday Lettings TaxHow to apply for a Business LoanHow to Extract ProfitHumourHybridIllegaldividendsIncomeInflationary GainsInfluencersInheritance Tax Nil Rate BandInterest RatesInterestreliefInterestrestrictionISAJoint TenantKeypersoninsuranceLandlord RepairsLandlords Self AssessmentLate vat registrationLBTTLeadgenerationLeadmagnetLeanbusinessmodelLetting Agent DisbursementsLetting Agent RecharresLettings ReliefLimitedcompanyLiquidation DemergerLoaninterestLong Lets TaxLongserviceLTTMainresidencereliefManaged LetsManagement accountingMaritalhomedivorceMarriage allowanceMarriageallowanceMileage paymentMinimumwageMixedusesdltMortgage costsMortgage Interest ReliefNew propertyNewcompanycarfuelratesNewnicrulesNIC 2023 to 2024NIC savingsNicdisregardNicreductionNMWNmwerrorsNon Allowable Business ExpensesNon-taxableNudgeletterOptiontotaxvatOverpayment ReliefPaperformParttimePatternofoccupancyPAYE by Direct DebitPayrollingPenaltypointsPension Payments Tax ReliefPensioncontributionsPensionsPerformance-reviewsPeriodofgracePeriodsofabsencePersonal ExpensesPersonal financePersonalallowancePersonalguaranteesPostcessationreliefPretradingexpensesProfitProfit-and-lossProfitAndLossProperty AllowanceProperty Development CompanyProperty IncorporationProperty Investment CompanyProperty investor accountsProperty investor tax tipsProperty LettingProperty Rental BusinessProperty TradingPropertycompanyRecharges by Estate AgentsRegularpaymentsReliefRent your driveRentalRentaroomResearch & DevolopmentResidential property gainsResidentialsdltRetail stock controlRetainedprofitsRevenueRoom for rent taxRtiSASalarySavingsSDLT changesSection 455 TaxSection455taxSelective Licences LandlordsSelf AssessmentSelf-employednicSelfemployedSelling OnlineSeperationServicechargesSettlementslegislationSimplified ExpensesSmallbizSmallbusinessratereliefSoftwareSole TraderSpring BudgetStaffpartiesStamp dutySuccessJourneyTax Allowance on DrivewaysTax AllowancesTax BreakTax CodesTax DeadlinesTax DeductionsTax Filing DeadlinesTax Free ChildcareTax on Company VansTax positionTax tips for landlordsTaxbillpaymentsTaxconsequencesTaxincentivesTaxpositionTaxpositionassetsTaxreliefTaxreliefsTaxsesTerminationpaymentsTipsTrade professionalTrainingTransfer AssetsTransfer Assets Between SpousesUmbrellacompanyUndisclosedincomeUnpaid RentVAT Bad Debt ReliefVAT DeadlinesVAT DisbursementsVAT PenaltiesVAT registrationVAT Reverse ChargeVatpenaltiesVatregisteredVatregistrationthresholdWellbeingWorking from home

Is it worth filing a formal complaint with HMRC?

HMRC has not been getting good press lately. Time spent waiting for a tax refund, an answer to a letter or for over an hour on the telephone trying to speak to someone with no success has not gone down well with HMRC's 'customers'. You can complain, but to whom do you complain, and will you get a satisfactory answer or even compensation?

Deciding whether to make a formal complaint to HMRC depends on the specific situation, the nature of the grievance and what you hope to achieve. Valid reasons will include:

· an incorrect tax calculation made even though HMRC has all the information;

· experiencing unfair treatment, such as lack of respect, undue delay or misinformation from HMRC staff;

· poor service including long delays in processing tax returns or responding to queries, lost documents or lack of clarity in communication; or

· error or mistake made by HMRC that has not been corrected despite being informed.

How to complain

The overall process for an HMRC-related complaint has four potential stages, the first of which can now be started online.

Tier 1 – The initial complaint is dealt with internally by the first point of contact whenever possible. HMRC has empowered complaint handlers to make more decisions for themselves.

HMRC noted in a recent webinar on the complaints process that the aim is to respond to complaints within 15 working days. The timeframe might be longer, especially where the issues arising are complex. However, HMRC says it will provide contact details for the officer dealing with the complaint, and keep you informed of progress.

Tier 2 – If the complainant is among the 7% of taxpayers still unhappy with the response from the Tier 1 handler, at Tier 2 a second person will take a fresh look at the complaint.

Adjudicator's Office – In the HMRC's response to the Adjudicator’s Office 2023 annual report June 2023 HMRC states that over 98% of complaints are resolved internally through this first two-tier process. However, if you are one of the 2% who are still unhappy, the next complaint level is to the independent external adjudicator, usually within six months of the Tier 2 review.

The role of the Adjudicator's Office (AO) is to rule on whether HMRC has handled a complaint 'appropriately and given a reasonable decision'. However, their work is restricted as they can only consider and rule on specific types of complaints namely:

· mistakes

· unreasonable delays

· poor or misleading advice

· inappropriate staff behaviour

· the use of discretion.

The review is limited to considering whether HMRC has handled the complaint correctly by its guidelines and given a reasonable decision.

Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) – This is the final stage if the customer is not satisfied with the AO's decision.

This final complaint should usually be made within a year of the taxpayer's first awareness of the problem. A complaint cannot be made directly to the PHSO; it must be raised via the complainant’s MP.

Practical point

A recent 'freedom of information' enquiry discovered that the number of ‘customers’ complaining about HMRC delays was 35,000 in 2022/23, with 4,742 being compensated for delays. This equates to approximately a one-in-eight chance of a complaint generating any compensation and average compensation of £150 per

successful complaint. These figures prove that unless the complaint is on a matter of principle, such as challenging unfair treatment or ensuring accountability, a formal complaint to achieve compensation is possibly not worth the time spent.