Tax Tribunal

VAT and Tax Appeals

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Tax Tribunal Services


The Tax Tribunal is part of the court system, an independent tribunal that holds jurisdiction over tax matters. It is composed of two separate entities, the First-Tier Tribunal and the Upper Tribunal, and serves as an avenue of appeal against tax and VAT judgments made by HMRC. All cases are initially allocated to the First-Tier Tribunal, where a judge will hear your appeal. This hearing is heard in a public forum unless waived under exceptional circumstances. In some complex cases, when there is a lot more information being presented and categorized as such, especially when the financial sums involved are larger, it requires a greater management level. If you are unhappy with the outcome of the First-Tier, it is possible to apply for an appeal to be made to the more serious Upper-Tribunal also. However, this is not an automatic right as you must first request this from the First-Tier. Call our Tax Accountants if you need to appeal your tax decisions. 

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Trust our tax experts to save you time, money, and hassle on your personal taxes. Call us to discuss your perosnal tax planning.

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Our tax advisors have the experience, skills and expertise to handle complex tax matters and tax investigations

Tax Appeal Services

Our tax expertsprovide authoritative guidance and advocacy in appealing unfair or inaccurate tax assessments.

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If you disagree with a tax decision made by HMRC, you can appeal it by lodging your case with an independent tax tribunal. The tribunal will review both sides’ evidence and arguments before making a judgement. First, you must submit your grounds for appealing HMRC’s decision, detailing why you believe it is inaccurate or incorrectly applied. HMRC will then provide their counter evidence and reasoning defending their original decision.

A hearing is scheduled where both parties present their case to the tribunal panel, which typically comprises a judge and tax experts. You can choose to represent yourself or appoint professional advisers to act on your behalf. After considering the validity of each side’s appeals, the tribunal will issue a determination that is legally binding on both you and HMRC.

The tax tribunal can consider appeals against a wide variety of HMRC decisions including: income tax assessments and computations, liability to pay VAT or gross PAYE errors, inheritance tax assessments, penalties for returns or payments, debt recovery actions, tax credit awards, national insurance disputes, determinations on the domicile of individuals and corporation tax assessments. Essentially most tax decisions made by HMRC can be disputed and brought before a tax tribunal.

The tribunal has the power to either confirm or overturn HMRC’s original disputed decision. If finding in the taxpayer’s favour, the tribunal can reduce or increase tax assessments, withdraw penalties, determine that no tax is due, and essentially make any judgement necessary to reach an accurate determination of the appellant’s tax position in law. The tribunal’s decision is legally binding on both the taxpayer and HMRC. Even if unhappy with the outcome, both parties must comply with the judgement.

For most standard tax appeals, there is no upfront cost to lodge your appeal with the tribunal service. However, you may incur professional costs if choosing to use expert representatives to act on your behalf in preparing evidence and handling the tribunal hearing. Contingency fee arrangements may be available with specialist firms. If the tax tribunal decides your appeal was vexatious or had little merit, it can order you to pay HMRC’s costs.

Yes, the time limit for commencing a tax tribunal appeal is usually 30 days from the date of the disputed decision by HMRC. This deadline should be strictly observed, as late appeals require permission to proceed. Grounds for making a late appeal could include absence from the country or serious illness during the 30 day window. If HMRC imposes additional tax beyond the relevant time limit, an appeal may still be valid. You can apply to the tribunal for certainty about time limits.

It is possible to appeal a tax tribunal’s decision to a higher level. Appeal routes include the Upper Tribunal Tax Chamber for complex or high-value cases, then the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court on matters of wider legal significance. However, further appeals tend to focus on legal interpretations and procedures, rather than re-examining the full facts of the case as already decided by the tribunal.

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