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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Reviews and appeals for direct taxes: settlement of appeals: how appeals can be settled

An appeal may be formally settled by

  • agreement between HMRC and the customer at any time before the appeal is decided by the tribunal, for example under S54 TMA 1970
  • the decision of the tribunal, see ARTG8910 and ARTG8930, or relevant appellate court, see ARTG10020, or
  • the customer withdrawing their appeal, see ARTG2740.

And the appeal is treated as settled if the customer

  • neither accepts an HMRC offer of review nor notifies the tribunal of an appeal within the time limit, see ARTG2730, and
  • does not appeal to the tribunal within the time limit following HMRC’s conclusion of review letter, see ARTG2730.

Customer becomes insolvent

Where a customer enters a formal insolvency procedure such as liquidation, administration or bankruptcy, the insolvency practitioner ‘stands in the shoes’ of the insolvent customer for legal purposes and so is entitled to decide whether to pursue an ongoing appeal or not. Where there is an open appeal and the customer enters a formal insolvency procedure, the decision maker (liaising with the review officer or tribunals caseworker if the appeal is being reviewed or is to be heard by the tribunal) should write to the insolvency practitioner and ask whether they wish to continue with the appeal or consider settling the appeal by agreement.

In most circumstances insolvency practitioners will wish to incur the minimum of costs in quantifying the liabilities of the customer and so may be open to a reasonable settlement by agreement.