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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
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Appeals: handling appeals and postponements: appeals received in the CT Unit Cumbernauld

This subject is presented as follows.

Appeals and postponements against tax charges 
Appeals against penalty determinations 
Correspondence
Interest objections

Appeals and postponements against tax charges

A company or agent may appeal against an assessment or amendment and apply for postponement of the tax charged. In the absence of an application to postpone payment, the tax as charged in the assessment or amendment remains payable in full.

An appeal and request for postponement relating to a tax charge should be made:

  • by the company or its agent
  • in writing. You can accept an appeal made by email if you are satisfied that it has been sent by the company or their agent from a known and trusted email address
  • to the office responsible for CT processing.

When a company sends an appeal to the CT Unit Cumbernauld, you may need to suspend collection of the liability while the appeal is referred to the office responsible for CT processing. For more information see COM110000 onwards.

You should only suspend collection when you consider that there are valid grounds for appeal.

Do not suspend collection when:

  • the appeal is not in writing or made by email and you are not satisfied that it has been sent by the company or their agent from a known and trusted email address
  • there is no application for postponement of the tax
  • the company or agent makes an unsupported claim that a repayment is due
  • collection of the charge has been suspended before
  • the liability was previously stood over and subsequently released
  • you can answer the query raised
  • correspondence is a duplicate copy of an earlier letter to the caseworker andit is clear that the caseworker has dealt with the letter
  • you consider the correspondence does not constitute a genuine appeal, but is simply a delaying tactic.

On receipt of an appeal or suspension against a tax charge the responsible office stands over or amends the charge, or uses function RSUD (Cancel Suspension) to cancel the suspension and confirm collection is to proceed.

Any standover or amendment to the charge automatically cancels the suspension.

When the responsible office postpones collection of a liability, COTAX creates a postponement posting on the company’s record. Function VPPD (View Payment and Posting Details) shows these postings as:

  • SO, standover
  • ISO, informal standover
  • SOR, standover release caused by the recording of a return.

The VPPD summary screen shows these postings under a general heading ‘stood over’. Once a postponement has been recorded on COTAX it is the responsibility of the case owner to actively manage the postponement. See COM10120 for further information.

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Appeals against penalty determinations

A company or agent may appeal against a penalty. The postponement provisions do not apply. This means that no action can be taken to collect a penalty while it remains under appeal.

An appeal against a penalty charge must be made:

  • by the company or its agent
  • in writing. You can accept an appeal made by email if you are satisfied that it has been sent by the company or their agent from a known and trusted email address
  • to the responsible office.

On receipt of a valid appeal against a penalty determination, the responsible office:

  • records receipt of the appeal, which automatically stands over any amount remaining unpaid on the determination charge
  • inhibits automatic output for the penalty, if necessary
  • actively manages the standover
  • takes action to settle the appeal.

The company may claim that it has a reasonable excuse for the late delivery of the return or the amount of the penalty is incorrect.

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Correspondence

You must treat correspondence that disputes the amount of tax or penalty charged as a potential appeal. You should take care to distinguish between cases where the company:

  • disputes the amount charged
  • has difficulty paying the amount due and is seeking time to pay or a delay in collection.

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Interest objections

The CT Unit Cumbernauld deals with objections to interest, including debit interest, credit interest and late payment interest unless the AP is working LA, PLA or LA-ENF.

The CT Unit Cumbernauld also deals with interest objections in respect of interest charged on quarterly instalment payment cases.

Late payment interest is charged on late paid CT from the normal due date (Word 49KB) to the EDP, regardless of whether an appeal has been made or the responsible office has stood over the tax.

See:

  • COM10031 for a list of forms relevant to this subject
  • COM10032 for a list of functions to use in particular situations.