HMRC internal manual

Appeals reviews and tribunals guidance

ARTG8950 - First-tier and Upper Tribunals: Outcome of the tribunal proceedings: Action following the tribunal decision


When the decision maker receives a tribunal decision they should write to the customer to give effect to the tribunal’s decision where appropriate, for example a penalty notice. Forms for use for the more common applications HMRC make are available on SEES.

When writing to the customer following the tribunal decision the decision maker should include:

  • the date of the tribunal’s decision
  • the nature of the tribunal’s decision
  • what the customer is required to do and by when
  • the consequences if the customer does not comply with the notice
  • the customer’s right of appeal (where appropriate).

Where the application was ‘without notice’, see ARTG7530, the decision maker’s letter will contain details of the tribunal’s decision as well as the information above.

Further appeal by HMRC

When the tribunals caseworker (direct taxes, see ARTG8400) or Solicitor’s Office (ARTG8410) receives a tribunal decision, they should review the tribunal decision and update their records

Having reviewed the tribunal’s decision they will liaise with other interested parties in the case, such as policy, technical specialists and Solicitor’s Office in order to reach a consensus as to whether HMRC should accept the tribunal’s decision or pursue it further.

In doing so the tribunals caseworker must act in line with HMRC’s Litigation and Settlement Strategy.

Normally the tribunals caseworker will be treated as the case owner for the purpose of HMRC’S Litigation and Settlement Strategy, see ARTG8400.

Any case where it is likely that the decision of the First-tier Tribunal is to be appealed to the Upper Tribunal should be submitted to Solicitor’s Office immediately for consideration, if Solicitor’s Office has not already been involved.

All applications for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal or higher appellate courts, must be approved as follows

  • Appeal to the Upper Tribunal - SCS 1
  • Appeal to the Court of Appeal - Director
  • Appeal to the Supreme Court – General Counsel and Solicitor (currently Alan Evans) and relevant Director

Where HMRC has won at the Upper Tribunal or above, and the taxpayer makes a further appeal, authorisation is not required to defend against the appeal. The presumption is that HMRC will seek to defend any declaratory (precedent setting) decision.

Where HMRC has won at First Tier Tribunal and the taxpayer appeals to the Upper Tribunal then authority to defend against the appeal is required at SCS1 level.