Tax Credits: Ombudsman
This section of the website explains how to take a complaint to the Parliamentary Ombudsman once the Adjudicator has reviewed the case and issued a decision. The material below was written by the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group.
If the claimant is still unhappy after receiving a decision from the Adjudicator, the case can be referred to the Parliamentary Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is entirely independent and can also consider complaints about the Adjudicator’s Office.
Referring a case to the Ombudsman
The main point to note is that cases cannot be referred to the Ombudsman directly. Cases can only be referred by an MP. You can find the address of your claimant’s MP here. If the claimant. If the claimant is not resident in the UK and therefore does not have a current MP, it is still possible to complain as one UK MP is nominated to deal with complaints from overseas. The Ombudsman’s office will be able to advise you of the MP holding this role for the time being.
The Making a complaint page on the Ombudsman’s Office website sets out the process in more detail.
In cases involving tax credits, the Ombudsman will generally only look at the case once the Tier 1, Tier 2 and Adjudicator routes have been exhausted. Before making a complaint it is advisable to use the Ombudsman's complaint checker tool to see if your complaint can be looked into.
The Ombudsman’s complaint form for UK government services should be used to refer the case. This form must be signed by the claimant’s MP.
The Ombudsman’s website states that complaints should be referred to them within 12 months of the last response from the previous stage (in tax credits cases this will be the Adjudicator).
Contacting the Ombudsman
More information about the Parliamentary Ombudsman can be found at www.ombudsman.org.uk. You can use the following methods to contact the Ombudsman:
The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration
By Phone: Complaints helpline - 0345 015 4033
By Fax: 0300 061 4000
By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Text: To request call-back service 07624 813 005
The Ombudsman occasionally publishes reports about the tax credits system in addition to more general annual reports. These reports can be found in our policy section.