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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

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Review of direct and indirect taxes decisions: carrying out a review: customer provides further information during the review

General

A customer may accept the offer of a review and provide further information. Where they do provide further information during the review, the review officer should refer substantial new information back to the decision maker to consider.

The review officer should consider new information only where it is limited in scope and consideration is likely to lead to a speedy conclusion. What is ‘substantial’ information depends on the particular case in question. For example a customer who provided all their business books and records during the review would have provided substantial new information.

New information

Where the customer provides new information during the review, the review officer should assess whether they need to agree a longer review period with the customer, to allow for full consideration of the information by the decision maker. If the appealable decision was issued by a decision maker following a decision by a Case Board or in accordance with a strategy set by an Issues Panel (x ref), the review officer should assess the time it will take for the decision maker to consider the new information, including time to allow resubmission to the Board or Panel.

The review officer, in their role as ringmaster, see ARTG4080, may need to consult other Departmental stakeholders in relation to the new information. For example, Valuation Office may need to be consulted about a property valuation. Where the appealable decision was issued by the decision maker following a decision by a Case Board or in accordance with a strategy set by an Issue Panel, the information should be referred back to the decision maker so they can liaise with the Case Board or Issues Panel secretariat about resubmitting the case. The reasons for referring the new information back to the decision maker for resubmission to the Case Board or Issues Panel should be carefully described and documented. If this is likely to take some time the review officer should seek to agree an extended time limit for the review.

New arguments

Where the customer puts forward new arguments during the review based on existing information, the review officer will need to consider these as part of the review. This may involve referring the information to the decision maker or other HMRC stakeholders to consider whether the arguments are sufficient to resolve the dispute.

However where the new arguments are substantially different from those already put forward the review officer should submit them to the decision maker. If the appealable decision was issued by the decision maker following a decision by the Case Board or in accordance with a strategy set by an Issues Panel, the new arguments should be referred back to the decision maker so they can liaise with the Board or Panel secretariat about resubmitting the case back to the Board or Panel for consideration, and the review officer should assess whether they need to agree a longer review period with the customer.

Closing the case

If the new information provided by the customer has been referred to the decision maker to consider and they decide that it is sufficient to resolve the dispute, then they should take any action needed to close the case, including updating the customer’s computer records.

For direct taxes the decision maker should settle the appeal under S54 TMA 1970 or relevant equivalents. Where the decision maker settles the case as a result of new information being provided it is not necessary for the review officer to send a conclusion of review letter to the customer.

For indirect taxes the decision maker should write and confirm the revised position, revisiting assessments etc as appropriate. Where the decision maker settles the case as a result of new information being provided it is not necessary for the review officer to send a conclusion of review letter to the customer.

But the review officer should make a note on the necessary systems that the matter was settled by agreement.

If the new information is not sufficient to resolve the dispute, the decision maker should tell the customer and refer the matter back to the Appeals Unit so that the review officer can carry out the review.

If the appealable decision was issued by a decision maker following a decision by a Case Board or in acceptance with a strategy set by an Issues Panel (x ref) and the review officer is minded to vary or cancel the appealable decision, they must agree the content of the review conclusion letter with the secretariat of the Case Board or Issues Panel before it was issued.

Review officers should be aware that it is acceptable for the decision made by a Case Board to override a strategy set by an Issues Panel. In such cases, if the review officer is minded to conclude that the appealable decision should be varied or cancelled, they must agree the content of the review conclusion letter with the secretariat of the Case Board before it is issued.

The decision maker should make sure that the review officer knows the date on which the review period started; see ARTG4690, so that the review officer can ask for an extension to the review period if they think it will be necessary.