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.
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 the complaint to an MP needs to be made first and the MP then needs to pass the complaint to the Ombudsman. The complaint must be made to the MP not later than 12 months from the day on which the person complaining first had notice of the matters alleged in the complaint, but the Ombudsman may still look into the complaint made outside the period if they consider that there are special circumstances which make it proper to do so.
Contacting the Ombudsman
More information about the Parliamentary Ombudsman can be found at www.ombudsman.org.uk.
The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s website includes details of how to contact them.
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.
Last reviewed/updated 28 April 2022