Appealing an HMRC decision ― outline

Produced by Tolley and written by Anne Redston. Anne is a barrister at Temple Tax Chambers and is not authorised to write on behalf of the Tribunals Service or the judiciary.
Appealing an HMRC decision ― outline

The following Personal Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley and written by Anne Redston. Anne is a barrister at Temple Tax Chambers and is not authorised to write on behalf of the Tribunals Service or the judiciary. provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Appealing an HMRC decision ― outline
  • Introduction
  • The starting point
  • The next step ― direct taxes
  • The next step ― VAT
  • HMRC review
  • Appealing to the Tribunal

Introduction

This note outlines the procedure for appealing against a decision made by HMRC. It links to further notes which explain each stage of the procedure.

This guidance note, and the other related guidance notes on Tribunal appeals, sets out the position before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. However, Tribunal appeals, hearings and related procedures have all been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. You are strongly advised to read the Tax Tribunals and coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance note, as that commentary summarises the current position.

This guidance note and the further notes on appealing to the Tribunal are only a summary; they do not cover all situations. You may need to take further advice in relation to the taxpayer’s appeal position. If the taxpayer’s appeal is against a decision by Revenue Scotland, the procedure may not be the same as that set out here. You are advised to take specialist advice.

Be aware that there are time limits at all stages of the appeal process, and failing to adhere to the time limit may mean that the right to appeal is lost.

The starting point

Before you can appeal, HMRC must have made a decision. This may seem obvious, but it is an essential point. You cannot appeal during an enquiry process. You have to wait until after HMRC has issued the decision.

This may be (for example) a closure notice, a penalty, or a refusal

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