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Is complaining to HMRC worth it?

Is complaining to HMRC worth it?

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Other than an apology, a possible reimbursement of related costs and a possible nominal payout for stress/anguish, does a complaint achieve anything?

I've complained three times on behalf of clients, all three times receiving an apology (big deal, but perhaps a little client satisfaction) and once obtaining a reimbursement of fees for my client. But there my experience and knowledge ends.

What are posters' thoughts please?

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Chris M
By mr. mischief
07th Oct 2014 20:28


I think it works about 50% of the time.  I have only done one in 2014 so not very up to date, especially given that HMRC supposedly take over a month now just to open a Complaint.

But in the past a formal Complaint has several times got arses that were moving in archeological timeframe to get moving and deal with a problem instead of pointing fingers.  And in cases where the foot-dragging has carried on I've secured a few hundred quid of compensation.

I actually think people are far too tolerant of HMRC drivel.  If there were more complaints backed up with claims it might help improve things from a 2 out of 10 tax service to 3 or even 4 out of 10.

Because in a business which seems to be pretty much motivated only by how heavily it can fine us, logically each compensation payout must hit home hard.  If there were enough of them that they got on to Lin Homer's dashboard we might even see them get to a 5 out of 10 service!

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By refs8
07th Oct 2014 22:31

Yes definitely - i have been in practice for 25 years and until 3 years ago had never really complained. Sadly the present systems means it is now part of the job role. Clients want there accountant to fight there corner and not roll over when HMRC make mistakes. Fairness for me is key, if it does not feel right then it is worth persuing on most occasions

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