First - tier and Upper Tribunals: Preparing for tribunals: Groups of related cases: Management of related cases
Managing large numbers of related cases (ARTG8551) may cause operational difficulties. When a dispute arises on an issue which could potentially affect a number of related cases, the office issuing the decision should consider how to manage the process of issuing the subsequent appealable decisions and dealing with the responses in the most efficient manner. For example,
- where the facts are identical, such as in an off-the-shelf marketed avoidance scheme, the decision maker may be able to use a template letter for decision / explanation letters, especially if the customers have used the same letter from the promoter when providing details of the scheme
- decision maker(s) should consider staggering the issue of the appealable decisions, such as closure notices, to avoid having to administer a large influx of appeals (direct tax cases) or review requests (direct or indirect tax cases) at the same time
- decision makers should warn review teams that they will be issuing a number of appealable decisions so that they can plan for reviewing large numbers of related cases
- decision makers and tribunals caseworkers should together plan for litigation potentially continuing for a lengthy period, for example the original staff who handled the litigation may move on before the outcome is known, so the planning should make sure that difficulties do not arise from this
- tribunals caseworkers (or Solicitor’s Office, if involved) should, where possible, nominate a single point of contact to liaise with the Tribunals Service on all the related cases, and inform Central Policy Tax Administration Advice (Appeals) of the point of contact so that they can notify the Tribunals Service in the first instance
For guidance on how the process for dealing with related cases interacts with the hardship / postponement rules see ARTG8557, application to accept late appeal rules in direct tax cases, see ARTG8558.