MP expenses: appeal a compliance officer's decision

How to appeal against a decision about your expenses claim if you're a member of parliament or former MP.

Includes information from the withdrawn T252 guidance.

What you can appeal against

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax) if a compliance officer has decided to:

  • refuse your expenses claim
  • pay only part of the claim
  • make you repay expenses, interest or costs
  • give you a penalty notice

You can only appeal if you have already asked the compliance officer to review the decision by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

The tribunal

The tribunal is independent of the compliance office and IPSA, and will listen to both sides of the argument before reaching a decision.

How to appeal

You must appeal within 28 days of the date of the compliance officer’s decision. Use the notice of appeal form.

Send the form to or:

First-tier Tribunal (Tax)
HM Courts and Tribunals Service
PO Box 16972
B16 6TZ

Telephone: 0300 123 1024 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm Find out about call charges

The hearing

Your case will be decided at a hearing. This will be held in London if you’re a sitting MP, or in your local area if you’re no longer a member.

The hearing will be attended by:

  • you and your representative (if you have one) - you are likely to be asked to present your case first
  • the compliance officer or a representative from IPSA - they will usually present their case second
  • any witnesses
  • a judge and other tribunal members
  • a clerk

Requesting a private hearing

Hearings are normally open to the public and press.

You can write to the tribunal to ask for a private hearing. Your request will only be considered in special circumstances, such as where public order or national security could be at risk.

Using a representative

If you have appointed a representative to act on your behalf and have given the tribunal their details, they are also entitled to attend the hearing with you.

If you don’t attend your hearing the judge will decide if it goes ahead, whether or not you have a representative.

Evidence and witnesses

In most appeals, the ‘burden of proof’ is on you. This means you have to show why the disputed decision is wrong.

You should bring to the hearing:

  • the ‘statement of case’ from the compliance officer
  • any response you made
  • any other evidence that establishes important facts, figures and dates

Both you and the compliance officer can ask witnesses to give evidence.

If a potential witness refuses to attend, the tribunal can send them a ‘witness summons’ to make them come to the hearing.

If you think the evidence of a witness is necessary but it is not likely to be disputed, you can ask your witness to write a signed and dated statement. You’ll need to share the statement with the compliance officer.

The tribunal’s decision

The tribunal will write to you explaining its decision after the hearing.

If you disagree with the tribunal’s decision, you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber).

You must first ask for permission to appeal within 56 days of the date of the decision.

To apply for permission to appeal, fill in form FTC1 and send it to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax).

State why you think there was a legal error or other problem with the tribunal’s decision.

Legislation and rules

You can find the right to challenge an MP expenses decision in the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.

More detailed rules on how your case will be handled are contained in The Tribunal Procedure (First–tier Tribunal) (Tax Chamber) Rules 2009.

Published 17 December 2014
Last updated 18 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Email address updated.

  2. Incorporated information from the T252 guidance document.

  3. Update to address and phone number details for the tribunal

  4. First published.