The Adjudicator's Office has published its report for 2014. Dame Judy Clements and her team resolved 2,311 complaints about HMRC, upholding a staggering 90% of complaints either partially or substantially.

During 2013-14, 1,087 new complaints were received.  The majority of cases reviewed related to PAYE, and were considered under the provisions of HMRC’s Extra Statutory Concession A19 (ESC A19), or related to Tax Credits and issues around Code of Practice 26 (COP 26). HMRC paid out £4.3 million in redress which included giving up £3.9 million of assessed tax.

The Adjudicator dealt with over 12,000 enquires during the year and cleared a significant backlog of old cases.

How to complain?

The report summarises the steps as follows:

1. Ask HMRC to review your case.

2. Ask for a second review by HMRC

3. Contact the Adjudicator.

Editorial comment

It is shocking that 90% of complaints were upheld: HMRC's own review process appears to be wholly inadequate. HMRC is currently consulting on its plans for the Direct Recovery of Debts and clearly any move for direct collection by HMRC requires independent scrutiny .