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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), HMRC Tax Enquiries and Investigations

There is a huge drive by HMRC to encourage tax disputes to be dealt with by alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Janes Solicitors can advise you on whether your case is appropriate for ADR and if it is, help guide you through the process as painlessly as possible.

Where an individual or company is failing to make any progress in their dealings with HMRC, ADR is aimed at helping customers with disputes. If you have a dispute about your business or personal tax affairs, ADR could be right for you. You, your accountant or tax adviser, or the HMRC officer dealing with your case, can ask HMRC to consider ADR. If HMRC is carrying out a compliance check, ADR may shorten the time of the review. ADR is not available for individuals or companies who are already facing a criminal investigation.

Your request for ADR will be considered by HMRC who will let you know within 30 days if ADR is right for your type of dispute. You will need to fill in an agreement known as the Memorandum of Understanding setting out the ADR process and confirming your agreement to take part.

At Janes Solicitors, our Tax and Tax Dispute Lawyers have the expertise and experience to represent individuals and businesses in ADR, mediation and negotiations with HMRC. We aim to help you resolve your tax dispute quickly and effectively, securing the best possible outcome for you. We provide pragmatic advice on the best possible strategy for your case and will advise on all issues that may arise during HMRC tax enquiries and investigations. Get in touch now to discuss your case.

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’)?

ADR is a voluntary, non-statutory form of mediation and dispute resolution, which can help when:

  • Your dealings with HMRC have stalled;
  • Communication has broken down between you and HMRC;
  • You and HMRC disagree on an important point or on the interpretation of evidence;
  • You and HMRC have different views on exactly what has happened – the facts;
  • You need to know why HMRC haven’t agreed evidence that you’ve given them and why they want to use other evidence;
  • HMRC need to explain why they need more information from you;
  • You are not clear what information HMRC has used and think they may have made wrong assumptions.

ADR introduces an impartial HMRC mediator to the situation, a facilitator, who will work with you and the HMRC officer dealing with the enquiry to help you find a way to resolve the matter. You can in certain circumstances also request your own facilitator.

ADR is often the preferred method of resolving a dispute because it can be a quicker, less costly, less stressful and less disruptive way to resolve matters than a long, drawn out and costly tribunal hearing. In the event that ADR does not resolve matters, it can be a useful tool in any event to narrow the issues and therefore limit the costs for any subsequent tribunal hearing, as well as being a useful ‘dress rehearsal’ for any hearing.

If you think ADR might be right for your dispute or you are not sure how or if it will help, contact Janes Solicitors now for advice. Our lawyers will discuss whether the process is suitable for your case and if not, we will guide and advise you on the best strategy to move things forward.

What is the ADR process?

If your case is accepted for ADR, the facilitator will arrange a without prejudice meeting with you and the HMRC officer in order to discuss the key points in issue and, where necessary, restore communications. You will be asked to write a statement to describe your view on each matter. The facilitator’s role is to identify the points in issue and ensure the focus remains on these, eliminate misunderstandings and help you to explore different ways of resolving the dispute.

The current statistics are that there should be a conclusion in most cases within three months (75%). Of those cases that are accepted, 60% lead to a successful conclusion – usually based on new evidence or a better understanding of the facts – 4% lead to further litigation and 20% are settled just by talking. 

So if you feel that HMRC are not listening or do not understand your case or you are frustrated by the process you are currently engaged in, call Janes Solicitors now and speak to one of our expert team of lawyers. Our Tax and Tax Dispute Lawyers will advise you every step of the way and work with you through the full ADR process, from preparing your written statement to negotiating a solution. Janes Solicitors will ensure your rights and best interests are protected.

Contact our Tax and Tax Dispute Lawyers in London

Janes Solicitors provide specialist advice to individuals and companies facing any type of HMRC dispute, including tax enquiries or investigations. Where your dispute has stalled, we will use our extensive experience of HMRC’s work practices and policies, and our proactive, strategic approach, to help you achieve a successful outcome through ADR. Contact us today on 020 7930 5100, or via our online contact form.

For expert legal advice and representation, call Janes Solicitors today 020 7930 5100 or complete our online enquiry form and one of our lawyers will be in touch as soon as possible.

We are there when you need us. Available seven days a week, you can call us on our out-of-hours service number on 07789 622 430.