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Increase in HMRC complaints

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Data from The Adjudicator’s Office, obtained by accountancy firm Price Bailey, shows that complaints against HMRC wholly or partially upheld increased to 44% in 2019/20, up from 35% the previous year.

Jay Sanghrajka, tax partner at Price Bailey, commented: ‘this is a startling increase in just the past 12 months. HMRC is struggling with resourcing issues and is under political pressure to maximise tax revenues, which means that it doesn’t always give complaints the individual care and attention they deserve.

‘The relentless focus on hitting targets too often means that legitimate complaints are dismissed. HMRC receives tens of thousands of complaints every year yet only a tiny fraction are appealed to the Adjudicator. It is likely that many of the complaints that HMRC rejects would subsequently be upheld by the Adjudicator if taxpayers were made aware of the appeals process and had the time and resources to take [HMRC] on. This is made worse because penalties and interest charges are not frozen during the complaints process, which usually takes six months or more to reach a decision.’

Issue: 1504
Categories: News