HMRC Disputes

How long does it take HMRC to start reviewing disputes?

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We submitted a dispute letter to HMRC back in September regarding an amount of a client's PAYE tax showing on their account not matching the information that we submitted. It has been more than 2 months since and no one has even looked at the letter yet. When speaking with them on the phone they say that looking into disputes now takes 10-12 months.

Does anyone have any information on how long it may actually take them as a year to process a dispute sounds too long.

Replies (13)

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By FactChecker
28th Nov 2023 10:59

Your 'phone responder is obviously an optimist!

BTW 'never' would be a more accurate answer IF you just wait for action - you need to chase.

Thanks (2)
Replying to FactChecker:
By Xenia123
28th Nov 2023 15:48

Thank you for your response.

I keep phoning them every couple of weeks and an estimate of 10-12 months was given by an HMRC advisor the last time I called them.
Initially, I was told that they expect for someone to take a look at the claim within 10 working days, which was clearly an incorrect timeframe.

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By Leywood
28th Nov 2023 11:37

How long is a piece of string?!!

Try the chat function - client must login in, you sit next to them or screen share. Works every time (except when they turned the chat function off earlier this year, grrrrrrr)

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By Tornado
28th Nov 2023 13:30

A client submitted a PPDCGT (60 Days Residential Property Sale) form 10 weeks ago and has heard absolutely nothing yet. Tax cannot be paid until HMRC provide a reference.

Who knows when this will be processed, if ever!

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
28th Nov 2023 14:00

If HMRC payroll records do not agree with your clients version of events, then I would start with the employer and what they have filed.

Most PAYE resolutions require the employer to resubmit.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
By FactChecker
28th Nov 2023 14:10

"Most PAYE resolutions require the employer to resubmit" ... is what HMRC have an (incorrect) tendency to recommend.

But I agree that OP should start by checking client's payroll records and the FPS submitted. If there's an error in either of those then submitting corrections will be called for ... but if, as is so often the case, those are both fine then any discrepancy will be further downstream (within HMRC's processes) and will need to be corrected by HMRC.

Thanks (2)
By FayeBK
28th Nov 2023 14:07

You sound surprised but 10-12 months sounds about right... and keep chasing or it will be lost in the void at HMRC.

Thanks (1)
By rockallj
30th Nov 2023 18:15

10-12 months? Great "service". Absolutely unbelievable stuff.

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By Ben Alligin
05th Dec 2023 10:01

2-3 years if you are lucky.

In 12 months time you will receive a letter from HMRC that either ignores everything you are in dispute over, or, just tells you that they are incredibly busy, but that they hope to respond in due course.

24 months later, despite continuous chasing, they will assign it to a case worker who will do nothing. You cannot complain at this point, because HMRC have done nothing you can complain about, so their complaints department will refuse to look into the matter.

36 months you will have lost the will to live, or you might have written to your MP, who will inform you that until you hear from HMRC there is nothing they can do........

Cynical? No based on real experience!!

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paddle steamer
05th Dec 2023 10:15

PAYE/NI issues are the worst kind as HMRC allocate payments made as they see fit and tracing what has happened takes forever. My somewhat crude rule of thumb is that unless the correction in your client's favour covers a minimum of four chargeable hours to be billed, don't even bother.

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By kevinringer
05th Dec 2023 10:52

The Charter is a HMRC legal requirement. See We agents should make more use of it eg section 3:

"HMRC will deal with it quickly and fairly."

How long is "quickly"? Forget HMRC's interpretation, look at "quickly" in terms of dispute resolution with other organisations. I would say 2 weeks is quickly, 1 month not quickly. 2 months is slow and doesn't meet HMRC's Charter. I'd therefore submit a complaint in accordance with section 3 of the Charter.

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By Jane - Stafford
05th Dec 2023 14:54

I have a similar case dating back to June 2023 where, after a couple of months, I chased for a reply and was told it could take up to 10 years! I chased again last week and was given the more realistic time of 12 - 18 months (well more realistic in HMRC terms). The operator I spoke to advised that the dispute team will be in touch when they start the process - in other words, stop ringing it won't get you anywhere.

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By christina makhoul
05th Dec 2023 17:57

If you are an agent then maybe contact AAM (agent account manager) they have sorted a few stuck jobs out for my firm in the last couple of years

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