Alternative dispute resolution

Consider the benefits of an alternative dispute resolution

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is for cases where an individual or company and HMRC disagree over the tax liability, or where communication between them has broken down.

ADR can help both sides reach an agreement or identify the contentious issue. It is a way of attempting to resolve the matter without the need, cost and hassle of involving the tax tribunal.

How we can help

Getting expert advice at the outset of ADR can make an enormous difference to the outcome. Our tax dispute resolution team knows the ADR system inside out. And in our experience, ADR almost always helps both sides clarify the disputed issues.

We’ll walk you through the whole process, helping you prepare for your mediation meeting and give careful consideration to the statement setting out the contentious points. In short, we’ll shoulder the burden so you don’t have to.

How the process works

HMRC allocates a mediator to work with both sides to attempt to resolve the matter. Alternatively, an independent commercial mediator can be appointed at your cost.

The mediator requires your and HMRC to participate fully in the process (which must not exceed 90 days) and provide all information requested.

Normally, both sides are required to attend a mediation meeting, which the mediator proactively facilitates.

When can alternative dispute resolution be used?

ADR can be used during a tax enquiry or once HMRC has decided what tax is payable and the matter is heading towards a formal decision by the tax tribunal. However, HMRC does not accept all cases into ADR and considers whether the application is relevant.

It’s worth noting that ADR does not affect your right to appeal to the tax tribunal or request for a statutory review of HMRC’s decision.

If you’d like to talk to us about alternative dispute resolution, don’t hesitate to get in touch with team lead, John Hood.

John Hood is Moore Kingston Smith’s tax dispute resolution specialist. He is expert at dealing with complex and serious tax investigations launched by HMRC, settling matters on a civil basis. In the most serious cases, this can involve limiting the risk of the enquiry being escalated to a criminal investigation. John genuinely relishes the challenge… Read more

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