Disputes with HMRC

Updated on 15 November 2017

This section provides information on how to resolve disputes with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) 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.

If you want more information on how to contact and deal with HMRC, go to the ‘getting help section’ of this website.

Tax appeals

You can make an appeal if you disagree with a decision made by HMRC and you have a right of appeal.

There is a guide to the stages of the appeal process in the ‘tax basics section’. That guide will help you if you have a right of appeal against an HMRC decision on a direct tax issue, such as income tax or National Insurance contributions.

The guide explains the basics of the appeal process and then provides detailed guidance to help you work through all the stages of resolving a tax dispute with HMRC. This includes information on how to make an appeal to the independent tax tribunal.

Back to the top


If you are unhappy with the way HMRC is dealing with you or with the level of their service, you may wish to make a complaint. There is a guide on making a complaint to HMRC in the ‘tax basics section’.

The guide also explains how to take matters further, if your complaint is not settled immediately to your satisfaction. It also explains what compensation you may seek if HMRC have handled things badly.

Back to the top

Tax enquiries and penalties

We provide information to help you if you are subject to an enquiry by HMRC in the section ‘enquiries and penalties’. In particular, we tell you about your rights, the process and what to do if you end up with unexpected debt.

Back to the top

What if I cannot pay my tax bill or I have a tax credits overpayment?

There is a guide on what to do if you owe HMRC money, but you are unable to pay, in the ‘tax basics section’. The guide concerns tax only.

There is a guide on tax credits overpayments in the ‘tax credits and benefits section’. This explains why you might have received an overpayment and your options for repaying the overpayment.

Back to the top