Since the pilot was launched in January 2012, 400 applications have been received by HMRC Alternative Dispute Resolution Service (ADR).
ADR uses independent HMRC facilitators to resolve disputes between HMRC and customers during a compliance check, either before or after a decision or assessment has been made. (See HMRC extends its new dispute resolution service, Shout99, May 2012).
The facilitators are HMRC members of staff who have been trained in ADR techniques and have not been involved in the dispute. Although there have previously been concerns about how ’independent’ HMRC’s own personnel could be.
HMRC’s Richard Summersgill, Director of Local Compliance, said: “ADR has shown that many disputes, where an impasse has been reached, can be resolved quickly without having to go to tribunal. We are now considering extending ADR to large and complex cases.
“ADR is a fair and even-handed way of resolving tax disputes between HMRC and its customers and helps save time and costs for everyone.
“We have had good feedback from both SMEs and individual customers and are grateful to the professional bodies and the wider agent community for their assistance and support during the pilot stages. It allows us to work together with our customers and resolve disputes much earlier than at present.”
ADR does not affect existing processes or review and appeal rights, and covers both VAT and direct taxes.
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2013