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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Judicial review: What is judicial review

For most tax matters there are appeal procedures set out in law that enable disputes between the customer and HMRC to be settled. But in some cases there is no right of appeal to the tribunal against HMRC actions.

This is mainly where the decision made is in relation to a discretionary matter, for example a decision on whether a late claim should be accepted, or the application of Extra-Statutory Concessions.

Where there is no statutory right of appeal a customer may turn to judicial review to take the dispute forward.

A customer may seek judicial review if they believe that an HMRC officer is not carrying out, or is delaying in carrying out their duties, has assumed powers to which they were not entitled or did not properly exercise their discretion, for example by refusing to apply an Extra-Statutory Concession.

Judicial review may also look at HMRC decisions where the dispute is not about whether the decision is technically correct but where a customer claims that they were misdirected and in consequence suffered disadvantage, for example that a return is wrong because they relied on incorrect advice received from HMRC.

Judicial review may also consider cases where the customer believes that an HMRC officer has not listened properly to their representations or has acted in a way that appears to be unfair.

A customer may also seek judicial review against the First-tier Tribunal where there is no appeal on a point of law against the tribunal decision, for example where the tribunal has refused a late appeal or refused to review their previous decision.

For more information on judicial review see The Judge Over Your Shoulder ((PDF 345KB) (Treasury’s Solicitors)) - JOYS (external users can find the guidance at