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

If you face challenges with mental health

Problems paying your tax? guide

8

HMRC’s duty to you

Under the law, HMRC must make “reasonable adjustments” for a person with a “mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”.

HMRC’s internal guidance for DM (Debt Management department within HMRC) staff says that:

DM guidance is at:

Mental health –  www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/dmbmanual/DMBM585185.htm

Elderly or infirm taxpayers – www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/dmbmanual/DMBM585180.htm

What this means in practice

This does not mean that DM (the tax collection part of HMRC) will simply write off your tax. But if you can provide DM with evidence that you have a mental health problem, such as a letter from your GP or other health professional, then you may reasonably ask for some leeway in the way you are treated. For example:

TIP:

Speaking to DM. It may feel difficult to speak to DM about your own mental health. You may prefer to ask a care worker, a friend or relative, or an advice agency such as TaxAid to speak to DM on your behalf. DMB should be willing to speak to them, but may ask you to sign a letter or form of authority before they will release any information to a third party.