A statutory review process was introduced in 2009 for use by all customers who disagree with a tax decision made by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A customer can ask for a review, make an appeal to an independent tribunal, or take both actions. The statutory review system gives HMRC’s customers a quick and easy way to ask HMRC to look again at their decisions. The process is open to all taxpayers, and is widely used by those who do not have an accountant or agent.
No policy evaluation to review and evaluate the process has been undertaken since its introduction five years ago. It is important that HMRC identifies and, where possible, addresses any problems or weaknesses in the review process as soon as possible.
In order to do this, HMRC commissioned research seeking the opinions of customers so that they could understand customers’ perceptions and experiences of the statutory review process. In particular the research was aimed at understanding why some customers do not use the review process, but go straight to tribunal.