When things go wrong

Updated on 11 November 2016

This section looks at how to resolve disputes with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), the tax penalty system and how to complain to HMRC about their treatment of you. It also guides you on what to do if you are unable to pay your tax bill, or if you have received a tax credits overpayment and have to repay it.

If you want more information about appeals and complaints related to tax credits, go to the tax credits and benefits section of this website.

  • Enquiries – a guide to the process and your rights if you are subject to an enquiry by HMRC.

  • How to survive an enquiry by HMRC – a practical guide explaining how an enquiry is carried out and what happens at the end of it.

  • Tax penalties – a guide to the main types of tax penalty, including how to appeal against them.

  • Tax appeals – a guide to the stages of resolving disputes with HMRC, including how to appeal to the independent tax tribunal. This guide will help you if you have a right of appeal against an HMRC decision on a direct tax issue.
  • Alternative dispute resolution  – you may find this helpful if you are subject to an enquiry by HMRC and have not been able to bring this successfully to an end.

  • How do I complain to HMRC? – you will find this guide helpful if you are not happy with the way HMRC is dealing with you.
  • What if I cannot pay my tax bill? – we explain what to do if you owe HMRC money, but you are not able to pay.
  • What if I have a tax credits overpayment? – we explain why you might have received an overpayment of tax credits and your options for repaying the overpayment.