Tax organisations given a cautious thumbs up by Mills

The taxman has been given a generally favourable end-of-year report by the adjudicator’s office, despite being forced to pay over £400,000 in compensation and refunds.

In her annual report on complaints about the Revenue, Customs and the Valuation Office Agency, Dame Barbara Mills said she was ‘encouraged by much good work’ she had seen done by the three tax agencies.

But she expressed disappointment at the number of justifiable complaints – the office upheld over 40% of the 603 complaints investigated in the year to 31 March. Her office demanded the organisations pay out more than £417,000 over the year in compensation and overcharged tax.

Mills admitted: ‘To bring a complaint to this office requires a great deal of determination because we only become involved when the organisation’s own complaints procedures have been exhausted.’

The Revenue, she said, had improved its approach to complaints and its willingness to learn. Customs was taking complaints more seriously and, in the main, dealing with them properly, she added.

Many complaints could have been avoided if the organisations improved their communications with people, said Mills.

The Revenue and Customs both said they were ‘encouraged’ by the report.

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