EY comments on the extension of HMRC's Alternative Dispute Resolution service, announced today

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Geoff Lloyd, director in EY’s tax controversy team, commented on the extension of HMRC’s Alternative Dispute Resolution service, which was announced today:

"Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) has been remarkably successful in resolving tax disputes of all shapes and sizes, avoiding the costs and delays to both sides of going to court. The mediator - or HMRC facilitator in individual and SME cases - can help both parties find a satisfactory basis for settlement without either party losing control of the outcome. 

“With almost 20,000 disputes in the queue for the Tax Tribunal, there's a need for a lot more ADR than we've seen to date and opening up the process to individuals and SMEs throughout the UK is a positive development.

“There's more to be done too for large and complex cases. Only a handful of cases so far have been resolved using mediation through the large business and complex case pilot.  While HMRC's aspiration of managing 50 of these disputes this year is a good starting point, there is scope for bringing in mediators earlier and in more cases, especially as the pilots have shown that ADR can lead to better and faster outcomes all round."