PLEASE NOTE: The charity TaxAid advises only those people on low incomes whose problems cannot be resolved with HMRC.

Tax enquiries

When you are struggling to cope

Tax enquiries – sometimes called tax investigations – can be the most stressful aspect of the tax system. . Negotiations can be very drawn out – over a year or more – and the result could be a significant, large, unexpected tax bill. Many tax enquiries are concluded by ‘contract settlement’ – a process where HMRC sets out in a letter the amount of money it requires to end the enquiry. You will be invited to sign a copy of the letter and return it to HMRC to complete the ‘contract’. Once you have done this, the time for negotiation is over. You will have to pay the amount specified or face recovery action.

If you are unhappy with the results of the enquiry, you should seek advice before you sign the contract settlement.

TaxAid does not have the resources to represent people who have a tax enquiry, but can offer general advice to those on low income.