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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: PAYE: E-payment default appeals: Appeal process

Grounds for appeal

The only grounds for appeals against a default notice are that the employer is not

  • a large employer or
  • in default.

The appeal and what it should contain

The appeal must be made in writing and should contain at least

  • the PAYE reference
  • the period covered by the appeal
  • identify the company/scheme to which it relates and
  • the grounds for appeal.

The appeal process

Employers have 30 days from the date of issue of the Default Notice in which to appeal to the DMEU. The appeal period is measured from the date of issue (or the date of re-issue) of the notice to the date of receipt in the DMEU [View Default Notice issue dates on BROCS function VIEW TAXPAYER format 5, ACTIONS (A)].

DMEU staff dealing with appeals should treat them as priority at all stages. However, as the receipt of an appeal does not prevent the issue of further default notices for later months it may not be possible to clear an appeal before the next default notice is issued.


You should acknowledge all appeals immediately on receipt by

  • date stamping the appeal on the front to verify receipt.
  • issuing the appeal acknowledgment letter PAYE201 deleting paragraphs that are not appropriate, and
  • making a suitable note in the Acknowledgement column on the MIS spreadsheet.

Late appeals

Although employers have a statutory 30 day period in which to appeal, some appeals will be received outside the time limit. You are not obliged to accept them. However, if

  • the delay is minimal or
  • there was a ‘reasonable excuse’ for not appealing in time and the appeal was brought without unreasonable delay after the excuse had ended,

you have little to gain by refusing the appeal. Consider each case on its merits, but without encouraging local practice or setting precedents.

Refusing a late appeal

If you decide not to accept a late appeal

  • advise the employer in writing that

    • they should apply to the Tribunal to consider their request and
    • you intend to oppose the admission of the late appeal when you attend.