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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

Reviews and appeals for direct taxes: Appealing against a decision: Invalid grounds of appeal

If the decision maker receives an appeal and the grounds do not appear to be valid, they should try to establish whether there are any valid grounds for appeal. They should

  • contact the customer
  • say why they do not think the grounds given are valid, and
  • if appropriate, mention what they would consider to be valid grounds of appeal
  • ask the customer to withdraw their appeal, see ARTG2740 or to amend their appeal to include valid grounds

Example 1

See example 1 in ARTG2170, the employer may not want to make an electronic payment because they are not a large employer, but did not realise they had to say so. So following clarification the appeal would, in this case, be valid.

Example 2

See example 2 in ARTG2170, John might believe the assessment to be unfair because we not allowed some relief or taken into account something else that means the assessment is too high. And so the appeal would be valid

The decision maker should take a common sense approach to the customer’s reply and if it is likely that the customer does have a valid appeal, even if they have not expressed it in the way we might expect, the decision maker should treat it as an appeal.