Taxpayers' rights of appeal are set out in law, and broadly there is a right of appeal against tax decisions, assessments, amendments, notices and determinations made by HMRC. A taxpayer who makes an appeal is entitled to have their case considered and decided by an independent tribunal. This may be at a hearing or on the basis of paper submissions from the parties to the proceedings, depending on the type of decision being appealed, see A5.6081.
From 1 April 2009, there were significant changes to the appeals system. As part of a wider programme of tribunal reform led by the Tribunals Service of the Ministry of Justice, the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007 (TCEA 2007) replaced some 70 tribunals dealing with a wide range of matters with a revised tribunal structure.
TCEA 2007 put in place a framework for a two-tier tribunal system with specialist Chambers handling particular types of appeal. From 1 April 2009 one of these, the Tax Chamber, brought together matters previously heard by the General and Special Commissioners, the VAT & Duties Tribunal and the Section 706/704 Tribunal. For full details of the tribunal structure, see Division A3.7.
At the same time, a statutory right was introduced for the taxpayer to ask HMRC for an internal review of their decision before the appeal goes to the tribunal (although the appellant does not have to have been