HMRC Alternative Dispute

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HMRC is making a significant effort to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution in tax disputes (ADR). If your case qualifies for ADR, Pearl Lemon Legal can advise you on this and assist you in making the procedure as easy as possible.

ADR is intended to assist people and businesses with disputes when they are unable to progress in their interactions with HMRC Alternative Dispute. ADR may be the best option for you if there is a disagreement regarding your business or personal tax matters that is far from cut and dried.

You, your accountant or tax advisor, or the HMRC Alternative Dispute employee handling your case can ask HMRC to take ADR into account. ADR could speed up the review process if HMRC is conducting a compliance check. Anyone or any organization already under criminal investigation is not eligible for ADR, but most other taxpayers are, at least in theory.

It is up to HMRC Alternative Dispute if ADR can be utilized, however. HMRC Alternative Dispute will evaluate your request for ADR and inform you within 30 days if ADR is appropriate for your particular type of dispute. The Memorandum of Understanding, which outlines the ADR process and verifies your consent to participate, must be filled out if they agree, and once it is, the process can proceed.


Our tax and tax dispute lawyers at Pearl Lemon Legal have the knowledge and experience to represent both people and corporations in ADR, mediation, and talks with HMRC.

We want to secure the best solution for you by assisting you in swiftly and successfully resolving your tax dispute. We offer practical guidance on the best approach for your situation and will advise on all problems that can come up during HMRC Alternative Dispute tax enquires and investigations. We can also provide the cool, supportive voice often needed in these situations, as dealing with HMRC in any capacity can be a nerve-wracking experience!

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What is HMRC Alternative Dispute Anyway?

ADR, a voluntary, non-statutory method of mediation and dispute resolution, may be useful in the following situations:


  • Your interactions with HMRC have slowed down;
  • You and HMRC are no longer in communication;
  • You and HMRC have divergent opinions regarding a crucial issue or the interpretation of the data;
  • You and HMRC hold opposing viewpoints regarding the details of what occurred;
  • You need to understand why HMRC disagreed with the evidence you provided and why they wish to use different proof; HMRC needs to clarify why they require further information from you;
  • You’re unsure about the data that HMRC used and believe that they may have drawn the wrong conclusions.


In ADR, a facilitator, an unbiased HMRC mediator who will work with you and the HMRC officer handling the inquiry to help you reach a solution, is introduced. In certain situations, you can even ask for your own facilitator.

ADR is frequently favored over lengthy, drawn-out, and expensive tribunal hearings because it can be a speedier, less expensive, less stressful, and less disruptive means to address issues. HMRC Alternative Dispute ADR can be a helpful tool to narrow the issues and, as a result, limit the costs for any subsequent tribunal hearing, as well as a helpful “dress rehearsal” for any hearing, in the event that it is unable to resolve the issues.

Contact Pearl Lemon Legal right away for guidance if you believe ADR may be appropriate for your dispute, or if you are unsure of how or if it would be helpful. If the process is not appropriate for your case, our attorneys will review it with you and advise you on the best course of action.

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How Does HMRC ADR Proceed?

If your case is approved for HMRC Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), the facilitator will schedule a meeting known as a no prejudice meeting so that you and the HMRC officer can talk about the main topics at stake and, if required, resume dialogue.


You’ll be required to compose a statement in advance outlining your position on each subject. The facilitator’s job is to clarify any misunderstandings, help you consider other dispute resolution strategies, and help you identify the key points at issue. It’s essential, therefore, that these statements are as full and succinct as possible, and this is one of the areas that an HMRC ADR lawyer can help most with.


What is often the case in tax disputes, especially in those involving business issues, is that the right information has simply not come to light yet. UK tax laws are changing constantly, and while plenty of statutes are in place, the HMRC Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) interpretation of them may not always be accurate. Our HMRC ADR lawyers can assist you in pointing this out without such interactions becoming overly contentious.

HMRC Alternative Dispute pushes ADR for a reason: it often works very well. According to the most recent statistics, a decision should be made in 75% of HMRC Alternative Dispute cases within three months. Of the cases that are accepted, 60% result in a favorable resolution, frequently as a result of new information or a greater grasp of the circumstances, 4% result in additional litigation, and 20% are resolved amicably.

Therefore, call Pearl Lemon Legal right away to speak with a member of our knowledgeable team of HMRC Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) lawyers if you feel that HMRC is not paying attention to you, does not understand your situation, or if you are dissatisfied by the procedure you are currently going through.

Our tax and tax dispute lawyers are here to help you through every stage of the ADR process, from drafting your written statement to reaching a resolution. Your rights and best interests are safeguarded by Pearl Lemon Legal, but also your general peace of mind.

Dealings with HMRC, as we mentioned, can be fraught and distressing. To some, even the mention of the “HMRC Alternative Dispute” body is chilling, even when they have done nothing wrong, as there are so many horror stories out there. When you work with us, we ensure that you are informed every step of the way and, as far as possible, calmed too.

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What If HMRC ADR Fails?

While the odds are good that entering into ADR with HMRC will result in a good outcome, it’s not a perfect process and yes, sometimes it fails, and the matter proceeds to further legal action. In addition, ADR is not an option for every issue that may lead HMRC to investigate you or your business.

In the case that the issue does proceed into the realms of tribunals and courts, Pearl Lemon Legal still has you covered. We can offer the same level of expertise and legal advice and continue to work towards the best possible outcome.

The worst thing that anyone – or any business – can do is bury their head in the sand when it comes to disputes with HMRC. Even if communication with them thus far has been ineffective, the issue won’t just go away. Ever. And in our opinion, you should also never agree to an unfair outcome if you are not in the wrong.

Every case is different, so the best place to start is a conversation about your unique circumstances. Contact us today to get it started, so that your tax headaches become a thing of the past as quickly as possible!