What happens at a Tribunal hearing?

Produced by Tolley and written by Anne Redston

The following Personal Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley and written by Anne Redston provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • What happens at a Tribunal hearing?
  • Introduction
  • Before the hearing
  • Video hearing
  • Face to face hearing ― on the day
  • The participants
  • Face to face hearing ― who sits where
  • Oaths
  • Courtesies
  • The order of events
  • More...

What happens at a Tribunal hearing?

Anne is a barrister who sits as a judge of the First-tier Tax Tribunal. The commentary in this guidance note is her personal view as she is not authorised to write on behalf of the Tribunals Service or the judiciary.


This note outlines what happens at a Tribunal appeal hearing. Before you read this note you should read the Appealing an HMRC decision ― outline guidance note.

Remember that this guidance note and the other guidance 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 appeal position. If the appeal is to the Scottish First-tier Tribunal, the procedure may not be the same as that set out here. You are advised to take specialist advice.

Before the hearing

If you want to understand how to prepare for a hearing, read the Preparing for the appeal to the Tribunal guidance note. If you have never been to a Tribunal hearing before and you are now about to represent a taxpayer, you may want to observe a hearing. Almost all hearings are in public, so you can go to a main hearing centre, such as Taylor House, 88 Rosebery Avenue in London, Temple Court, Bull Street in Birmingham, or Alexandra House, Parsonage in Manchester.

Once you have arrived, you may need to locate the tax hearings within the building ― in Taylor House they are on the top floor, with immigration appeals on

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