Making a Complaint
What is a complaint?
We regard a complaint as any expression of dissatisfaction about our action or lack of action, or about the standard of service provided by us or on our behalf.
What can I complain about?
You can complain about things like:
- failure to provide a service
- inadequate standard of service
- dissatisfaction with Revenue Scotland’s policy
- treatment by or attitude of a member of staff
- failure to adhere to the standards and values expressed in our charter
- failure to follow appropriate administrative process
Your complaint may involve more than one service.
What can't I complain about?
There are some things we can’t deal with through our complaints handling procedure. These include:
- a tax dispute from a taxpayer or their agent, such as the amount of tax to be paid, rulings or reliefs.
- requests for updates or further information regarding an on-going appeal/account status request
- requests for assistance in completing a tax return
- requests for information on the process or eligibility for relief
- requests for general information on Revenue Scotland including media enquiries
- issues that are in court or have already been heard by a court or a tribunal
- an attempt to reopen a previously concluded complaint or to have a complaint reconsidered where we have already given our final decision
If other procedures or rights of appeal can help you resolve your concerns, we will give information and advice to help you.
Who can complain?
Anyone can make a complaint to us, including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service. In order to protect taxpayer confidentiality we will require proof that consent has been given if someone else is complaining on their behalf.
How do I complain?
You can complain in person, over the phone, in writing or by email.
It is easier for us to resolve complaints if you make them quickly and directly to the service concerned. So please talk to a member of our staff at the service you are complaining about. Then they can try to resolve any problems immediately.
When complaining, tell us:
- your full name and address
- as much as you can about the complaint
- what has gone wrong
- how you want us to resolve the matter
How long do I have to make a complaint?
Normally, you must make your complaint within six months of:
- the event you want to complain about, or
- finding out that you have a reason to complain, but no longer than 12 months after the event itself
In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the time limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.
How do I make a complaint?
In writing to:
PO Box 24068
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By telephone: 0300 0200 310
What happens when I have complained?
We will always tell you who is dealing with your complaint. Our complaints procedure has two stages:
Stage one - frontline resolution
We aim to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. This might mean an on-the-spot apology and explanation and immediate action to resolve the problem.
We will give you our decision at Stage 1 in ten working days or less, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
If we can’t resolve your complaint at this stage, we will explain why and tell you what you can do next. We might suggest that you take your complaint to Stage 2. You may choose to do this immediately or sometime after you get our initial decision.
Stage two - investigation
Stage 2 deals with two types of complaint: those that have not been resolved at Stage 1, and those that are complex and require detailed investigation.
When using Stage 2 we will:
- acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days
- where appropriate, discuss your complaint with you to understand why you remain dissatisfied and what outcome you are looking for
- give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days
If our investigation will take longer than 20 working days, we will tell you. We will agree revised time limits with you and keep you updated on progress.
What if I'm still dissatisfied?
After we have fully investigated, if you are still dissatisfied with our decision or the way we dealt with your complaint, you can ask the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) to look at it.
The SPSO cannot look at:
- a complaint that has not completed our complaints procedure (so please make sure it has done so before contacting the SPSO)
- events that happened, or that you became aware of, more than a year ago
- a matter that has been or is being considered in court
You can contact the SPSO:
99 McDonald Road
Telephone: Freephone 0800 377 7330 or call 0131 225 5300
Fax: 0800 377 7331
Online contact: www.spso.org.uk/contact-us
Mobile site: http://m.spso.org.uk
Getting help to make your complaint
We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We accept complaints from the representative of a person who is dissatisfied with our service. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain for you.
You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.
Tel: 0131 260 5380 Fax: 0131 260 5381 Website: www.siaa.org.uk
We are committed to making our service easy to use for all members of the community. In line with our statutory equalities duties, we will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help taxpayers access and use our services. If you have trouble putting your complaint in writing, or want this information in another language or format, such as large font, or Braille, email us at email@example.com.