For many businesses, getting caught up in a tax dispute with HMRC can be a nightmare. Not only is the UK tax system complex, but the process of resolving disputes can be long and drawn-out.
Staggeringly, data shows that 60% of medium sized businesses are currently involved in a tax dispute with HMRC that has lasted more than one year. HMRC’s latest annual report also shows that there were 39,500 tax tribunal appeals outstanding as at 31 March 2023, an increase of nearly 8% on the previous year. The average length of time taken to conclude an enquiry, including litigation, now exceeds 36 months.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process is designed to speed things up, allowing businesses to resolve tax disputes with HMRC outside of the courts – trained HMRC mediators working with both parties to explore ways to resolve the dispute. But, despite widespread awareness of the ADR option, there are very few applications for its use – in the year to 31 March 2023, there were little over a thousand applications for ADR. When used, it has proved highly successful – with 87% of cases concluding in a resolution.
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Understanding how to handle an HMRC enquiry, as well as making use of all the tools available in disputes, is critical to get the best results. For expert support contact one of the tax team.
Our experienced and approachable team are on-hand to assist you, please get in touch below: