MP expenses: appeal a compliance officer's decision

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

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 and guidance notes.

Send the form to or:

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

Telephone: 0300 123 1024

The tribunal hearing

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

The hearing will be attended by:

  • a judge and other tribunal members
  • a clerk
  • the compliance officer or a representative from IPSA
  • your representative (if you have one)
  • any witnesses

Hearings are normally open to the public and press.

In most cases you will have to bring documents or witnesses to the hearing to show why the expenses decision was wrong.

The compliance officer or IPSA representative may also call witnesses.

Find out more about what happens at an MP expenses tribunal hearing.

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 do this, fill in the application for permission to appeal form, and send it to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax).

You will need to state clearly 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 9 March 2015 + show all updates
  1. Update to address and phone number details for the tribunal
  2. First published.