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How to complain

Sometimes things go wrong with your tax credits or how they are dealing with your overpayment and you will need to make a complaint. You might want to complain if:

  • HMRC have not dealt with your tax credits properly.
  • You have not received good treatment from HMRC staff.
  • You have been given wrong advice.
  • You are not happy with a dispute decision, but have no new evidence.
  • You have sent a dispute or appeal but have not received a reply for over 3 months.
  • HMRC haven’t explained the reasons for your overpayment properly

HMRC can accept complaints over the telephone if you ring the tax credit helpline. This might be useful if your complaint is about the helpline. Normally it is best to write a letter. You should set out your reasons for complaining and what it is you would like HMRC to do.

See Further help for where to send your complaint letter.

I have received a response to my complaint letter but I am still not happy

You can take your complaint to a higher level. This is called a ‘Tier 2 Complaint’. To do this you should write a new complaint letter telling HMRC why you are not happy with their first response. Send this second complaint letter to the same address.

If you are unhappy with the response you receive to your second complaint letter then you can ask the Adjudicator to look at your case. See Further help for information about how to contact the Adjudicator.

If you are not happy with the Adjudicator’s response, you will need to ask your MP to ask the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman to look at your complaint.

It is important to remember that if your complaint is about an overpayment, HMRC will still keep asking you to repay the money while you are going through the complaints process. You should make sure you speak to the Debt Management part of HMRC to agree some payment of the debt otherwise they will pass the debt to a debt collection agency, take court action or use distraint. If you cannot afford to pay anything, you should still speak to Debt Management and explain your situation. For more information see Paying the overpayment.

July 2013

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