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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

First-tier and Upper Tribunals: appeals to the tribunal: asking for an appeal to be heard by the tribunal

If a customer wants the tribunal to consider an HMRC decision they must make, or notify, an appeal to the tribunal within the time limit, see ARTG2420 and ARTG3090.

  • In direct tax, the customer must have first sent the appeal to HMRC
  • In both direct and indirect tax, there may first have been a review
  • In relation to restoration decisions, the customer must first have asked for a review(as it is the review decision that is appealable)
  • It is not permissible to make, or notify, an appeal to the tribunal during the course of a review.

HMRC cannot ask for a direct tax appeal to be considered by the tribunal (as was possible before 1 April 2009). Instead, if the decision maker wishes to progress a case where agreement is unlikely, they should offer the customer a review, see ARTG4220.

Both HMRC and the customer can appeal to the Upper Tribunal or relevant appellate court against a First-tier Tribunal or Upper Tribunal decision on a point of law, subject to permission from the 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.

As well as appeals, various types of application may be brought to the tribunal either by customers or by HMRC, see ARTG7500 onwards.

The Tribunals Service website guidance, describes the process for sending an appeal or application to the tribunal and what happens at the tribunal.

The appeal notice must contain

  • details of the decision appealed against
  • a copy of the decision appealed against
  • grounds of appeal
  • the result the customer is seeking
  • their name and address
  • the name and address of any agent or representative
  • the address where documents can be sent.

And the customer (or HMRC if the appeal is to the Upper Tribunal or relevant appellate court) must provide the Tribunals Service with a copy of any reasons given for the decision.