Is the taxman behaving? The Ombudsman reports

The Ombudsman’s role is to carry out independent investigations into complaints about poor service by UK government departments including HMRC. Complaints have to be directed via an MP and must first have been through HMRC’s own complaints procedure.

The Ombudsman recently published the report for 2009/10.  (See

HMRC is second in the league table for complaints in 2009/10. 1,896 were received in 2009/10.  50% were fully upheld and 44% partly upheld.

One case study shows a retired woman who owed tax arrears which she could not afford, of £2,500 on her widow’s pension. The tax could have been waived under extra statutory concession A19 but HMRC failed to spot this as did the Revenue Adjudicator.  Eventually most of the tax was waived; the taxpayer received an apology and compensation for worry and stress.

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