You can challenge HMRC’s decision at the First-tier Tribunal (Tax) if you need to challenge a decision made by them. They typically handle appeals against the following decisions:
If you have dealt with HMRC directly whilst they have carried out an investigation into your affairs and they have arrived at a figure for tax, interest and Tax Evasion penalties that you disagree with then there is redress through the First-Tier Tribunal (Tax).
HMRC, in order to put pressure on you, may issue an assessment which you might find mind-boggling. You must pay what is owed. If you simply can’t pay the amount they say you owe then you must make a hardship application. If they will not allow you to delay your payment then you will need to apply to the tribunal. The act of appealing the penalty means that you do not have to pay the amount due, up-front.
You have 30 days to appeal the assessment. You’ve then got an opportunity to lodge the appeal with the Tribunal.
if HMRC opens an enquiry into your affairs for ‘direct taxes’ such as Income Tax, CGT or Corporation Tax then you will be able to apply for a ‘closure notice’ if you want it to be closed. HMRC will then take direction from the tribunal when to close the enquiry. It is not possible to apply for one of these when your return is being checked for ‘Indirect Tax’
If you believe the Tribunal has made an ‘error of law’, you may apply for permission to appeal against their decision to the Upper Tribunal.
The following are some examples:
Your decision letter will tell you whether are allowed (have permission) to ask them to look at the amount of the penalty.
When you receive the first letter from HMRC saying they are looking into your affairs is get a specialist advisor on board. One who has experience in dealing with HMRC investigations.
You do not want to go First Tier Tax Tribunal disagreeing with HMRC over what tax is due on your own. This may, of course, include what interest is due and what penalties are due following an investigation.
We would agree, subject to your approval of course, what is payable. This would be done after making a proper disclosure report to HMRC. With penalties regularly breaching 100% of what is due, we like to think we can get it to 25%. Interest will inevitably follow the state norm, however, these matters need to be checked.
If there is a disagreement with HMRC, which is highly unlikely, then you are still able, via us, to make an appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal and it follows the usual route. This is a court of law, the evidence is given, documents are provided, witnesses give their evidence and the judge comes to a conclusion. But that is something that you want to avoid because it is very costly, very time consuming and very tiring.
If the matter goes to the First Tier Tax Tribunal or Upper Tier Tribunal you will be represented by one of our barristers who will be very carefully briefed about the whole case.
For advice on how to take your case to Tribunal, call us today, and speak to one of the team on 0800 471 4546 who will advise you how to avoid this situation. We are tax investigation experts so call us today!