Taxman pays £1.2m compo for one error

A mistake by HM Revenue & Customs led to the taxman making a whopping single compensation payment of £1,200,000 to a group of taxpayers in 2009/10; according to a report by Jaimie Kaffash in Accountancy Age.

As part of the taxman’s official Complaints procedure they have an ex-gratia compensation scheme.  The so-called Financial Redress policy is aimed at making good any financial losses taxpayers suffer caused by unreasonable behaviour from HMRC officials.  This can include the professional costs of sorting out HMRC’s mess. It can also include an element of compensation for the stress involved: so-called buggeration payments.   In 2009/10 HMRC paid out£3.74m: including the exceptional single payment of £1.2m.  The total paid out in the following year, 2010/11 was £1.41m.

The taxman refused to reveal any further details of the exceptional payment due to taxpayer confidentiality.

What does this mean for me?
Complaints and compensation claims
against HMRC are notoriously difficult to pursue. The Kafka-esque bureaucracy of HMRC at times seems designed to frustrate taxpayers who merely want to be dealt with according to the letter of the law. Many such claims are not taken up in the first place, or are abandoned partway through, due to frustration with the process.  Many people give up because the amounts being claimed by them, whilst significant in themselves, are not worth the additional costs of pursuit.  However, claims such as the ones above show that success is possible and worthwhile sums can be involved. The successful pursuit of the claim requires organisation, patience, diligence, resilience and a thorough understanding of both tax law but, more importantly, HMRC internal rules and procedures.

How can Lynam Tax Dispute Specialists help me?
Lynam Tax Dispute Specialists
have years’ of experience in dealing with claims against HMRC, and have successfully pursued complaints and compensation claims. We can advise whether you have a worthwhile case to pursue, and would be to pursue your claim for you in worthwhile situations.

We offer an initial free and confidential telephone consultation. Phone Paul Lynam now on 0845 643 9997.