Statutory Review

Specilaist Tax Planning

If you are not happy with a tax decision, it’s always better to apply for statutory review before filing an appeal to the tax tribunal. 

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HMRC Statutory Review is the next step once you have exhausted other options of a dispute with HMRC on a tax decision. This process was introduced in 2009 for direct tax and indirect tax decisions and is available to customers with or without a tax accountant. HMRC Statutory Review was introduced to resolve disputes without needing recourse to a tribunal and ease pressure on the tribunal service. Even if you decide on ADR as your first option, it is still recommended to ask for a Statutory Review, especially because you don’t need to wait for HMRC’s decision to ask for one. Asking for a Statutory Review means your legal rights will be protected. A Statutory Review is an internal review that must be carried out by an HMRC officer – or a team of HMRC officers – with no previous involvement in your case. Review cases are sometimes dealt with by teams at an entirely different location, often referred to as specialist offices.

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 A statutory review is the process of asking HMRC to formally re-examine and reconsider a tax decision they have made. You can request this within 30 days of the tax decision.

Most tax decisions can be disputed including tax return assessments, penalties, VAT assessments, PAYE coding notices and decisions on tax reliefs. The review application must identify clearly which decision is disputed.

 No, it is free to submit an application to HMRC requesting a statutory review. The process gives taxpayers a way to contest decisions without having to initially go to tribunal.

Reasons can include having factual evidence the decision is wrong, providing new supporting information not previously considered, identifying that HMRC applied the law incorrectly or claiming a different interpretation of legislation.

HMRC aims to complete reviews within 45 days. However it can take longer for more complex disputes. If delayed, you can appeal directly to tax tribunal without waiting for the conclusion of the review.

Yes, if HMRC upholds their original decision, you still retain the right to then lodge an appeal to an independent tax tribunal for reconsideration. The review stage does not preclude later tribunal action.

Your accountant may have included some normal tax provisions. If not you may be able to make adjustments in your current financial year. If you are loosing any tax reliefs, you may need to amend accounts and resubmit to HMRC and companies house.

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