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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

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HM Revenue & Customs
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Appeals: handling appeals and postponements: appeal against penalty determination (Action Guide)

To deal with an appeal against a penalty determination, consider steps 1 - 8 below. The guide is presented as follows.

Receipt of appeal Steps 1 - 2
Late appeals Steps 3 - 5
Suspensions Steps 6 - 8

Receipt of appeal

1.  When you receive an appeal against a penalty determination, refer it to the decision maker. See COM10106 for the relevant action guide.

2.  If the decision maker accepts the appeal:

  • use function HAPP to record the appeal on COTAX and change the appeal status to ‘open’. Any penalty charged but currently unpaid is automatically stood over
  • identify the case owner who must then actively manage the standover. See COM10120 for further guidance.

Late appeals

3.  If you receive a late appeal against a penalty determination:

  • use function HAPP (Handle Appeal) to stand over the unpaid tax informally
  • refer it to the decision maker dealing with the case (see ARTG2240).

4.  If the decision maker accepts the late appeal use HAPP to:

  • reduce the informal standover to nil
  • change the appeal status to ‘open’, which automatically stands over any penalty charged but currently unpaid
  • identify the case owner who must then actively manage the standover. See COM10120 for further guidance.

5.  If the decision maker rejects the late appeal, they write to the company explaining why and telling them to apply to the Tribunal to consider their request if they want to take the matter further (ARTG2240).

Where the appeal is refused by the Tribunal or it is withdrawn, use function HAPP to change the appeal status to ‘by determination’ or ‘withdrawn’ as appropriate. Doing that automatically releases for pursuit any stood over penalty charged but currently unpaid.

Suspensions

6.  When a case is suspended by the CT Unit Cumbernauld or the Debt Management office, the correspondence is passed to the responsible CT office with a covering form AOC385 or C52D.

7.  If the appeal is acceptable:

  • use function HAPP to change the appeal status to ‘open’
  • identify the case owner who must then actively manage the standover. See COM10120 for further guidance.

The suspension is cleared automatically.

8.  If the appeal is not acceptable:

  • use function RSUD (Cancel Suspension) to cancel the suspension
  • send an explanation to the company or agent and reply to the AOC385 or C52D.