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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

HM Revenue & Customs
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Applications to the tribunal: Tribunal consideration of applications

When the Tribunals Service receives an application from HMRC, for example for approval to issue a notice under Schedule 36 FA 2008, it will categorise the application, see ARTG8350, and email the HMRC Clearing House with details of the hearing, see ARTG8380, as appropriate. The Clearing House will then forward the email to the appropriate decision maker.

Default paper cases

Some HMRC applications are categorised as default paper cases, which means that they will be decided on the papers, without an oral hearing, unless the tribunal decides that this is inappropriate. For example, an HMRC application for continuing daily penalties under S93(3) TMA 1970 is categorised as a Default Paper case, see ARTG8370.

When the Tribunals Service receives an application it will arrange for a member of the judiciary to consider the application on the basis of the papers, taking into account any indications that the application is urgent or relates to a complicated case.

Oral hearings

When the Tribunals Service receives an application that requires an oral hearing it will arrange a hearing, taking into account any indications that the application is urgent or relates to a complicated case, and tell HMRC the details.

In most cases, the decision maker will be responsible for preparing and presenting HMRC’s application to the tribunal. But in complicated cases HMRC’s case may be prepared and presented by a tribunal’s caseworker, see ARTG8400, or the Solicitor’s Office, see ARTG8410.

If the decision maker is not sure whether or how they should prepare and present the case, they should contact the appropriate Appeals Unit for advice.

Information and inspection powers applications, penalty applications

These applications must be signed by an Authorised Officer of the Board. An email from the Authorised Officer agreeing to the application is not sufficient.

The decision maker should also make sure that they are able to demonstrate that the signatory is an authorised officer. For example, if their business area has a list of Authorised Officer’s on their Intranet pages a print of the Intranet page showing the Authorised Officer’s name will usually suffice. But it is for the tribunal judge to decide whether they are satisfied that the application has been signed by an Authorised Officer, and they may require further supporting evidence.

Where the decision maker is applying for tribunal approval to issue an information or inspection notice under Schedule 36 FA 2008 or a penalty notice (where tribunal approval is necessary), they should bring 3 copies of the notice to the tribunal for signature by the tribunal member or judge, one for the customer, one for HMRC and one for the tribunal records. The forms to use for the notice are available on SEES.

If the tribunal gives a direction in response to the application, the Tribunals Service will send the decision maker a copy of the signed direction.

For more information about tribunals, see ARTG8000 onwards.