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HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

First-tier and Upper Tribunals: Preparing for tribunal: Representatives at tribunal

Either the customer or HMRC can appoint a representative to represent them during the tribunal proceedings. If the customer appoints a representative they must give their representative’s name and address to the tribunal on the appeal form.

If HMRC appoints a representative they should write to the tribunal with their representative’s name and address.

  • In First-tier Tribunal cases they must also notify the other parties;
  • in Upper Tribunal cases the Upper Tribunal will notify the other parties of any representative appointed when it receives notification of the appointment.The representative can do anything on behalf of their client, except signing a witness statement.

In most cases HMRC’s case will be presented by a member of HMRC staff, although in most indirect, and in more complicated direct tax cases, HMRC’s case is presented by counsel.

As counsel would not be a member of HMRC staff, they would be considered to be HMRC’s representative at the tribunal, and this guidance should be followed in relation to HMRC’s counsel.

Any person who is notified that a representative has been appointed must provide any required information to the representative and does not also have to provide the information to the representative’s client.

People may assume that the representative is continuing to act on behalf of their client unless they hear otherwise.

The customer or HMRC may be accompanied by another person who may act on their behalf at the tribunal hearing.

For example an otherwise unrepresented customer might bring a friend or voluntary adviser with them to the hearing to provide moral and practical support in presenting their case. As long as the customer (or HMRC) is also attending the hearing they do not have to tell the tribunal or HMRC in advance.