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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Summary Proceedings (Sc): Small claims - answering defences: Defence that commissioners were unfair or would not listen

If the defender submits a defence on the grounds that the commissioners were unfair or would not listen this usually means that the taxpayer could not satisfy the commissioners that the assessment should be reduced (Section 50(6) TMA 1970).

You should inform the court that

  • if the defender was dissatisfied with the commissioners’ determination he should have demanded a case stated under Section 56 TMA 1970 (although the tax remains payable)
  • having failed to do so he cannot now raise such matters which cannot affect the determination that is final (Section 46(2) TMA 1970

You should

  • produce certificates of debt in court to enhance your claim that the debt is due and unpaid and
  • ask the court to grant decree for the full sum plus outlays (DMBM675100).

Where the court is unwilling to grant decree you should

  • seek a continuation (DMBM675100) and
  • refer your papers together with a full report of the hearing to HMRC Solicitors Office (1st Floor Clarendon House 114-116 George Street Edinburgh EH2 4LH tel. (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) immediately.