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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

First-tier and Upper Tribunals: Introduction: Which tribunal considers the appeal

First-tier Tribunal

Most appeals (and applications) will, in the first instance, be considered by the First-tier Tribunal.

Upper Tribunal

The Upper Tribunal will consider appeals against decisions by the First-tier Tribunal on a point of law where the First-tier or Upper Tribunal has given permission for an appeal to be made to the Upper Tribunal. Additionally an appeal can be made on the grounds that the First-tier Tribunal reached a conclusion on the facts which was unreasonable because it was inconsistent with the only reasonable decision on the facts.

The Upper Tribunal will also consider applications for tax-geared penalties under FA 2008 Sch 36 para 50(2).

In addition, a small number of appeals may be heard by the Upper Tribunal in the first instance. These are cases which

  • have been allocated to the Complex category by the Tribunals Service, see ARTG8350 and ARTG8390, and
  • both parties have agreed, and
  • the Chamber Presidents have directed that the case be transferred to the Upper Tribunal.

Any proposal for an appeal to be heard by the Upper Tribunal in the first instance must be referred to the technical specialist responsible for consideration and to Central Policy (Tax Administration Advice) for advice.

The Upper Tribunal will be a Superior Court of Record, which means that its decisions create legally binding precedent. They have similar powers to the High Court.

They can also hear some judicial review cases relating to tax matters, see ARTG12000 onwards, where these are delegated to it, replacing the High Court / Court of Session for those cases.