HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has made a significant change to the way that some taxpayers access its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme.

Where applicants for ADR could previously speak with a call handler, they will now be asked to leave a voicemail on the new 24-hour service.

Available to anyone seeking to settle a dispute via ADR, the voicemail service will require claimants to leave their name and phone number.

A mediator will then contact the claimant within 30 days to discuss their application.

The ADR scheme explained

ADR is a crucial part of navigating tax disputes with HMRC. It is often a useful option for businesses and individuals who seek to meet their tax obligations without overpayment or early or late payment.

You can apply for ADR when you have an ongoing dispute with HMRC, where it has opened an investigation into your tax affairs.

ADR covers a wide range of scenarios but is typically used when:

  • Both parties are unable to reach an agreement
  • A compliance check is taking place
  • There are disputes over the facts of a case
  • Communications have broken down
  • There may have been a misunderstanding
  • HMRC has made a decision you don’t agree with or understand

HMRC will let you know within 30 days of submitting your application if ADR is right for you and how your claim is being progressed.

Will this change impact me?

Many individuals and companies, particularly those with a tax adviser or accountant, will use the existing online form to submit their application.

However, if you cannot access this form due to, for example, poor internet connection, you are likely to be affected by this change.

Both ways of applying carry a 30-day time limit, so it is unlikely to disadvantage phone applicants over online applicants.

The most significant impact is likely to be the difficulty in speaking to an adviser if you have a question regarding your application.

Additionally, you may struggle with the inability to track a phone application as opposed to an online submission.

The best way to avoid the frustrations of a telephone submission is to seek support to submit an online application to the ADR.

We can provide advice and apply on your behalf should you be subject to an HMRC investigation.

Contact us for further guidance on tax disputes with HMRC and the ADR scheme.

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