V5.407 Reconsideration, review and Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR')

Part V5 Compliance, enforcement and appeals

V5.407 Reconsideration, review and Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR')

VAT appeals—application for review/appeal

V5.407 Reconsideration, review and Alternative Dispute Resolution ('ADR')

Local reconsideration/review1

Prior to 1 April 2009, there existed a comparatively informal arrangement under which HMRC encouraged2 taxpayers who disagreed with a decision to seek a reconsideration of the decision by the VAT office which made the decision before instigating appeal proceedings. The local reconsideration procedure did not, however, form part of the appeals procedure for VAT, and the time limits for the making of an appeal outlined in V5.411 were unaffected. HMRC normally sought to reply to a request for reconsideration within 45 days of the request. The reconsideration was carried out by a member of the relevant regional appeals team, although comments of the officer making the original decision were generally sought.

Although a statutory review process (see below) was introduced with effect from 1 April 2009, it appears that HMRC intended that the local reconsideration procedure may still be used:

'Review is not the same as local reconsideration. Review is a statutory process with strict time limits. Queries about decisions, especially in cases where the taxpayer provides new information, are not to be treated as review requests unless the customer has specifically asked for a review. In many such cases we expect to be able to reach agreement and finalise cases without a review as now.'3

However, Revenue and Customs Brief 10/094 dated 16 March 2009 states 'This new legal right to a review will replace reconsiderations…in indirect taxes'. Thus the policy of HMRC is not entirely

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