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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

Reviews and appeals for indirect taxes: Payment of tax pending the outcome: Hardship applications

Section 84(3B) VATA 1994, s 16(3)(a)(ii) FA 1994

Before the tribunal may hear a customer’s appeal, any disputed tax must have been paid to HMRC. But if it would cause the customer hardship to pay the tax due they may ask HMRC to agree that payment be suspended until the tribunal appeal is decided. If HMRC do not agree the customer may apply to the tribunal to determine the matter. This is known as a hardship application.

The customer may make a hardship application by writing to HMRC at

Solicitor’s Office & Legal Services
Hardship Team
Appeals and Reviews
NE98 1ZZ


  • details of the appeal, and
  • the reasons why they believe payment would cause hardship, and
  • the amount they are asking to be suspended.

Business units that receive hardship applications should send the details to the Hardship, Indirect Hardship Team, Mailbox (SOLS) with any attachments and/or caseflow or electronic folder references.

For Excise and Customs cases, instead of paying the duty the customer could provide guaranteed security for the amount of duty payable. Or, if it would cause the customer hardship we can waive the requirement to security or accept lesser security.

If the duty has not been paid and we accept any of full security, no security or lesser security we have to issue a certificate to that effect, see ARTG3350.