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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Review of direct and indirect taxes decisions: Conclusion of the review: Action to take

Whatever the outcome of the review the review officer will write to the customer and give their conclusions, sending a copy to the decision maker, but see ARTG4630 where the appeal is settled following the customer providing new information.

Where an agent is acting the reviewing officer should write to the customer and send a copy of the letter to the agent.

The letter must

  • tell the customer the review officer’s decision
  • explain the reasons for the review officer’s decision, and
  • say what will happen now.

Also, if the conclusion upholds or varies the decision the letter must

  • explain the options available to the customer (appeal to the tribunal if the customer disagrees with the conclusion)
  • explain the relevant time limits
  • explain the implications for any ongoing postponement or other suspension of tax, and
  • explain the consequences if the customer does not take any action.

This is described in this guidance as the ‘conclusion of review letter’.

It is important that a full and clear explanation of the decision is given because if the customer is satisfied that the review officer has fully and objectively reviewed their decision and has explained the reasons for their conclusions, the likelihood of an appeal to the tribunal may be reduced.

If the customer decides that they do want the matter to be considered by the tribunal, then they can be satisfied that they understand the reasons for our decision.

If the amendments that would be needed to the customer’s record to give effect to the review officer’s decision can be made quickly and easily then they should be performed by the review officer before returning the case papers to the decision maker.

But if complex amendments are needed the papers should be returned to the decision maker to make the required amendments.

At the end of the review the review officer should wait 45 days to see whether the customer appeals to the tribunal, in which case they should pass their papers to the appropriate tribunals caseworker or Solicitor’s Office, as appropriate.

If the customer does not appeal to the tribunal the review officer should retain the review papers and return the case papers to the decision maker.