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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

Reviews and appeals for indirect taxes: Appealing against a decision or assessment: Liaison with specialist offices

In certain cases the decision maker must tell the relevant technical specialist when they receive an appeal or indication of other legal actions. If the decision maker receives an appeal in any of the following categories, they should refer it to the technical specialist straightaway for advice.

  • tax at stake of more than £10 million in the particular case and/or more than £1 million if losing the case would have wider implications
  • they include a significant attack on the tax system with wide application e.g. a challenge to the basic principles of the tax or duty, or an avoidance scheme which can be operated by an entire trade sector
  • they are likely to lead to adverse publicity at a national level e.g. because they involve celebrities or well-known charities, or there are allegations of bureaucratic insensitivity or red tape
  • they feature high-profile political issues
  • the appeal is to be heard by the Upper Tribunal, see ARTG8060 in the first instance, including judicial reviews
  • they challenge the validity of UK law which implements EU law
  • they include a serious allegation of misuse of powers, likely to bring those powers into question e.g. actions for damages for malicious prosecution
  • where there is no established precedent
  • if there is an opportunity for HMRC to clarify law
  • new legislation is being tested for the first time.

Criminal investigations

If the customer disagrees with a decision by HMRC in a case where there is an ongoing criminal investigation, before taking any action the decision maker should contact the Fraud Investigation Service for advice.

Accountancy issues

See ARTG3050 about seeking advice from accountancy specialists.