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About Citizens Advice
This advice applies to England:
Advice can vary depending on where you live.
Advice for other parts of the UK:
This advice applies to
Many people find tax matters confusing, but there are ways of getting help. We have listed some of the most common ways of getting help below.
If you have a tax problem and you are an employee, you may be able to get help about a tax code or PAYE from your employer.
There are a number of websites that provide useful information about tax:
If the problem cannot be sorted out by talking to your employer, or looking on a website, the next step is to contact HMRC. Usually, you will need to do this by telephone.
You can contact HMRC on the Taxes Helpline for individuals and employees, including pensioners and people on benefits, on 0300 200 3300 (Textphone 0300 200 3319 for people who are deaf or hearing or speech impaired).
If you are newly self-employed, contact the Newly Self-Employed Helpline on 0300 200 3504 (Textphone 0845 915 3296).
If you need help with Self Assessment, contact the Self Assessment Helpline on 0300 200 3310 (Textphone 0300 200 3319 ).
For other HMRC helplines, see their website at http://search.hmrc.gov.uk.
When you contact HMRC, you must be ready to quote your national insurance number and your employer's tax reference number. If you don't know the tax reference number, your employer must give it to you if you ask for it. Or look on your payslip, P45 or P60.
In some cases, you can contact HMRC using an online form. This may be more convenient than using a helpline when the lines are frequently busy. However, you can only do this for certain topics. For example, you can use an online form to:-
HMRC provides a special service for people who need extra help with their tax, tax credits or Child Benefit. It replaces some of the services that used to be provided by HMRC Enquiry Centres, which are closing down.
When you contact an HMRC helpline, the helpline staff will decide whether you need extra help and will put you in touch with the service which is best able to help you. In some cases, this could be by talking on the phone to a specialist adviser, who will take the time to try to resolve your query in one call. In other cases, where HMRC staff decide that a face-to-face meeting is most appropriate, they can arrange to meet you at a convenient place local to you or in your own home.
You can read more about this service on the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk.
If you need extra help from HMRC with your tax, you can:
If HMRC aren’t able to resolve the problem, then you may quality for help from a tax charity, Tax Aid or Tax Help for Older People, who can give advice about tax if you’re on a low income.
If you can't get a satisfactory answer to your tax problem and you are on a low income, a specialist tax charity may be able to help you. There are two main tax charities:
TaxAid runs a national telephone helpline service and face-to-face advice sessions in London and some major cities for people on a low income. They define low income as around £20,000 per year or less. They provide free and independent advice, assistance and advocacy to people who need help with tax or tax debt. They can help with problems about tax allowances, PAYE codes, tax arrears, self-employment, tax returns and HM Revenue and Customs administration and complaints.
You should try to sort out the problem first with HMRC and look at their website before contacting them. Their tax specialists can often advise how to resolve the problem over the phone. If the problem is complex, they may be able to offer you an appointment, but call or email them first. Their contact details are:
TaxAidTel: 0345 120 3779 (Mon to Fri 10am to 12 noon)E-mail: email@example.comWebsite: www.taxaid.org.uk.
TaxHelp for Older People (TOP) is a free confidential service providing tax advice for pensioners over 60 on low incomes who cannot afford to employ a professional tax adviser. They define low income as less than £20,000 per year.
Appointments can be arranged at offices such as at Age UK, or at your local Citizens Advice Bureau. Home visits can be arranged if you are disabled.
Their contact details are:
TaxHelp for Older PeoplePineapple Business ParkSalway AshBridportDorsetDT6 5DB
Helpline: 0845 601 3321 or 01308 488 066 (Mon to Thurs 9am to 5pm and Fri 9am to 4.30pm)E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.taxvol.org.uk
If your income is too high to qualify for advice from a tax charity, you may need to consult a commercial firm of advisers, who will charge a fee. The following professional bodies will help you find a local specialist:
The Association of Taxation Technicians1st Floor, Artillery House,11-19 Artillery Row,London SW1P 1RT.Tel: 0844 251 0830Fax: 0844 251 0831E-mail: email@example.comWebsite: www.att.org.uk
The Chartered Institute of Taxation1st Floor, Artillery House,11-19 Artillery Row,London SW1P 1RT.Tel: 020 7340 0550 or 0844 579 6700Fax: 0844 579 6701E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.tax.org.uk
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & WalesLevel 1Metropolitan House321 Avebury BoulevardMilton KeynesMK9 2FZTelephone 01908 248100Fax: 01908 248088Website: www.icaew.co.uk
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of ScotlandCA House21 Haymarket YardsEdinburghEH12 5BHTel: 0131 347 0100Fax: 0131 347 0105E-mail: email@example.comWebsite: www.icas.org.uk
Chartered Accountants IrelandThe Linenhall32-38 Linenhall StreetBelfastBT2 8BG
Tel: 028 9043 5840Fax: 028 9023 0071Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.charteredaccountants.ie
The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants2 Central Quay89 Hydepark StreetGlasgowG3 8BWTelephone: 0141 582 2000Fax: 0141 582 2222E-mail: email@example.comWebsite: www.accaglobal.com
If your problem has still not been sorted out, you may wish to challenge it, or negotiate, with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) The procedure to follow and the correct office depend on the type of challenge or dispute.
Some of the main procedures are:
When dealing with any query or negotiation, whether in writing, over the phone or in person, remember the following tips:
For more information about how to challenge or negotiate with HMRC, you should see an adviser, for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click on nearest CAB.
If you are not satisfied by the outcome or your complaint or negotiation, you may want to take matters further by complaining to the Adjudicator or Ombudsman.
You might also want to consult with a tax charity or specialist tax adviser before you do this.
The Adjudicator's Office considers complaints of maladministration by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for example:
The Adjudicator's Office will not consider:
For more details, see Council tax.
A complaint should not usually be referred to the Adjudicator's Office until you have given HMRC a chance to remedy matters.
The contact details of the Adjudicator's Office are:
The Adjudicator's OfficePO Box 10280NottinghamNG2 9PF
Tel: 0300 057 1111Fax: 0300 057 1212Website: www.adjudicatorsoffice.gov.uk
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman may be able to help with complaints against HM Revenue and Customs if, for example, there has been:
The Ombudsman cannot investigate complaints about government policy or about tax legislation.
If you want to complain to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, you must first contact your MP and ask for the matter to be referred.
For more details about the ombudsman, in England, see How to use an ombudsman in England, in Wales, see How to use an ombudsman in Wales, in Northern Ireland, see How to use an ombudsman in Northern Ireland or in Scotland, see How to use an ombudsman in Scotland.
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