What if I disagree with HMRC’s decision?
Following HMRC issuing its decision, taxpayers have the right to appeal if they do not consider it to be correct or fair. There are several routes you can use to challenge HMRC’s decision. The first stage to challenge HMRC’s decision is to request a Statutory Review.
What is a Statutory Review?
A Statutory Review is carried out by HMRC Solicitor’s Office and Legal Services (SOLS). It impartially reviews the appealable tax decision made by the original decision-maker and can uphold, vary or cancel it. Review officers are independent of the original decision-maker and act as a second pair of eyes when reviewing the tax decision. HMRC is required to respond to a request for a Statutory Review within strict time limits, so this can be an expedient way of reaching a resolution.
Approximately two-thirds of taxpayer’s who dispute their appealable tax decision choose to appeal to the Tribunal, without first requesting a Statutory Review. We believe that requesting a Statutory Review should be considered the first step in disputing a HMRC decision and can be beneficial from a time and cost-perspective.
A request for a Statutory Review must be made within 30 days of an appealable decision by HMRC. There is also the opportunity to make further representations to the Reviewing Officer, should there be additional information which only became available at a later date or information that the original decision maker did not take into account.
Should the result of a Statutory Review not resolve matters, consideration should be given to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
If all else fails, then an appeal can be made directly to the Tax Tribunal should you wish to challenge a HMRC decision further. Appeals to the Tribunal are often a lengthy process with significant costs associated. Specialist advice must be taken before embarking on this course of action.