There may be times when HMRC makes a decision you don’t agree with; perhaps an assessment has been issued and you don’t agree the amount of tax charged, or HMRC may be asking for payment of a security. If you disagree with a decision made by HMRC, you are able to challenge it. There are many rules that apply to appealing against a decision and the process is different for direct taxes and indirect taxes.
The appeal process
If a decision has been made relating to direct taxation, including self-assessment, or a penalty issued in association with a direct tax, you can appeal against it. The direct tax appeal process will also apply if you receive a notice to produce documents or information, even if it refers to indirect taxation. If you fail to comply with the notice, you may be charged a penalty, which can also be appealed against using the direct tax procedures.
An appeal has to be made within 30 days from the date of the decision, either by letter or using an appeal form. You must inform HMRC of the decision against which you are appealing and why you are challenging it. At this stage, you may be able to reach an agreement with HMRC and at this time you will be expected to pay any outstanding tax or provide the information required.
If you can’t reach an agreement, you can ask for an independent review. If matters are still not resolved you may take the case to a Tribunal. The process is similar for indirect taxes, although there is no informal review to come to an agreement; if you don’t agree with a decision you must ask for a formal review within 30 days of the decision. If the original decision is upheld, you may take the case to Tribunal.
Appealing to Tribunal
In both cases, you can apply to a First-tier Tribunal. However, if you’ve requested a review by HMRC, you must wait for the outcome before appealing at Tribunal. If you have submitted an appeal to Tribunal, you can’t then ask for a formal review.
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