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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Appellate Court: Outcome of hearing by relevant appellate court

If the court finds that the decision of the Upper Tribunal involved an error on a point of law, it

  • may (but need not) set aside the decision of the Upper Tribunal, and
  • if it does, it may either

    • send the case back to the Upper Tribunal with specific guidance as to how it should reconsider its decision, or
    • if the decision of the Upper Tribunal was on an appeal from the First-tier Tribunal, send it back to either the Upper Tribunal or the First-tier Tribunal with specific guidance as to how it should reconsider its decision, or
    • remake the decision itself.

If the court decides to send the case back to either the First-tier or Upper Tribunal, it may also

  • require that the members of the tribunal rehearing the case are different from those who made the original decision, and/or
  • state the procedures for reconsidering the case.

If the court sends the case back to the Upper Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal may send the case back to the First-tier Tribunal if it was previously decided there, along with the procedures stated by the court for reconsidering the decision.

If the court decides to remake the decision itself, it may

  • make any decision the First-tier or Upper Tribunal could have made, and
  • make any findings of fact it thinks appropriate.

The court may decide a case on a point of law or principle and send the case back to the tribunal to apply the decision to the facts of the particular case. This is most common in the very highest courts (House of Lords, European Court of Justice) but can happen in other cases.

If a court sends a case from a pre-1 April 2009 tribunal back to apply its decision it will send it to the tribunal.