HMRC - I think customs were right to take my items – but I want to get them back
Who is your issue with?
Explains your rights to you
You'll find no legal jargon in our simple, comprehensive consumer rights sections. Our guidance is tailored specifically for every type of issue.
Helps you prepare your emails
We provide a wide range of flexible email templates for you to adapt to your needs – just slot in the specific details for your case, and in a few short clicks your issue will be ready to go.
Creates a case file for you
Your case file is a secure online location for all important documents regarding your issue. You can upload photos, tickets, copies of receipts or external emails from before you raised your issue with Resolver.
Lets you record all your communications
One of the most important aspects of a complicated issue is keeping a record of all your correspondence regarding the complaint – Resolver does this for you automatically.
Lets you know when to escalate your complaint
If you’re not satisfied with the initial response from the organisation you have an issue with, our escalation process will let you know when you can raise your complaint to the next level of seniority and, ultimately to an ombudsman or regulator, where appropriate.
If HMRC has seized any of your belongings, you can normally ask for them back – even if you think customs seized them correctly.
You can do this by using Resolver to make a ‘restoration request’. If your restoration request is approved by customs, you should get your things back but may have to pay a fee and any duty you owe.
If customs has already sold or destroyed your items, you may be due some compensation.
If your vehicle has been seized by customs, you have 45 days to collect any belongings you left in it. This should normally be done by sending a letter marked ‘personal property’ to the address on the notice or letter you got from customs.
- The reference number on the notice you got from customs.
- Your name and address.
- A list of the things you want back.
- Proof of ownership.
- For a vehicle, you’ll need proof of purchase.
- Import documents (if you have them).
There’s normally no time limit for asking for your things back – although your items may be sold or destroyed after 45 days (unless they’re perishable, in which case they may be sold or destroyed straight away).You should know
- You should always try and resolve any problems with HMRC by talking with the person who has been dealing with you first.
- If this is impossible or has not resolved your issue, you should use Resolver to contact them.
- HMRC operates a tiered complaints system. Complaints will go through two tiers of service.
- If you are still unhappy, you can ask your MP to escalate your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman.
If you believe HMRC has not correctly followed procedure, it's always worthwhile to consider contacting them via Resolver. HMRC may offer compensation for any distress, delay, damage caused, or costs incurred by HMRC (such as the cost of having to hire an accountant).
It's worth knowing that HMRC have the right to take enforcement action to reclaim any debts (under certain conditions).
You should be aware, however, that HMRC field agents have no right of seizure. They might take note of the things you have (your assets), but they can't take any on the spot.
HMRC can level penalties for late payment. It's always worth contacting HMRC if you believe you might have been incorrectly penalised (or if serious circumstances stopped you from paying on time). HMRC will often consider any reasons you might have for late payment.
You should try and correct any mistakes with your tax as soon as possible.
Find the best rights for you
We have 5,148 pages of rights advice for you covering 6,933 companies and organisations across 17 public & private sectors. Feel free to browse companies for this specific issue - they're all listed below - but the quickest way to find the best rights for you is by using our unique Rights Finder to access our extensive database of advice.
Start by telling us the name of the company or organisation you have an issue with.