HMRC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is today being permanently extended to small businesses and individuals after a successful trial. ADR is yet another route for resolving disputes with HM Revenue and Customs.
Alternative Dispute Resolution uses HMRC staff who have been specially trained as “facilitators” and who are independent of the unit dealing with the current dispute: in an attempt to try to resolve disputes and conflicts during compliance checks. The aim of ADR is to find a fair and quick outcome for both parties, helping to reduce their costs and avoid a Tribunal hearing.
HMRC’s Director of Local Compliance, said: “We know that taxpayers like the speed and flexibility of Alternative Dispute Resolution, and evidence has shown that by using the simple service, many disputes can be significantly shortened and resolved without recourse to Tribunal.”
ADR is available to small business and individual taxpayers where a tax issue is in dispute, whether or not an appealable tax decision or assessment has been made by HMRC.
What does this mean for me?
ADR can be useful in long-running disputes particularly where positions have become entrenched or you feel that you are going around in circles. The Alternative Dispute Resolution approach could identify the areas of agreement and disagreement, allowing all parties to: regain focus; reduce the areas of disagreement; clarify differences of opinion on technical issues; establish areas where more facts are required; and even where agreement is not reached then at least narrow the points in dispute in advance of formal litigation at the Tax Tribunal.
ADR can be used instead of, or in addition to both HMRC’s internal Statutory Review and the Tax Tribunal appeal process. The results are not binding; so you can continue your appeal if you are not happy with the outcome.
How can Lynam Tax Dispute Experts help me?
Although the Alternative Dispute Resolution process can be very helpful, the HMRC employed and trained “independent facilitator” is not there to advocate for you. For the best results in any compliance check or appeals process you need experts who can understand your case, and then present it to HMRC in a compelling manner. That is no less true of the ADR process. For the best results in the Alternative Dispute Resolution process you should appoint a specialist to assist you. Lynam Tax Dispute Experts have scores of years’ experience in settling difficult and seemingly intractable cases with HMRC, efficiently and effectively.
*Call today for an initial free, confidential, no obligation, discussion:
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
or Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710