Commentary

A4.596 Appeals against penalties

Administration and compliance

A4.596 Appeals against penalties

A4.596 Appeals against penalties

Introduction

All HMRC decisions relating to penalties give rise to a right of appeal to the Tribunal on the question of liability. This can be done after the issue of a penalty assessment or after an internal review by HMRC (see A4.595).

In the cases reported there is sometimes confusion over the actual point at issue in the appeal. For example, an appeal against a failure to comply with a notice where the dispute is whether the notice actually arrived is a dispute about the liability and not about reasonable excuse. If the taxpayer is believed, the penalty is discharged completely and there should be no consideration of reasonable excuse.

In accordance with the general evidential proposition that the person who asserts a fact must prove it, the onus is on HMRC to prove all the elements of the default specified in the relevant statute. If it succeeds in doing so, the onus then shifts to the taxpayer to prove a reasonable excuse (if that is the basis of the appeal). Further commentary on the burden and standard of proof is found at A4.590, and commentary on reasonable excuse is at A4.568.

In cases involving partnerships, there are procedural issues as to who may bring an appeal, see A4.580.

For details of the deadline for appealing a penalty and whether the First-tier Tribunal will give permission

To continue reading
View the latest version of this document, as well as thousands of others like it, sign in to TolleyLibrary or register for a free trial