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HMRC internal manual

Decisions and appeals for National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments

Summary of dispute resolution process

There are three stages to the decision and appeal process for National Insurance contributions, employment status and statutory payments. When trying to resolve disputes you should ensure you apply the principles set out in HMRC’s Litigation and Settlement Strategy, see DANSP05000.

Stage 1 - The informal stage

You offer an initial opinion based on the information available. Explain your opinion and support it with references to legislation and HMRC guidance, where appropriate. For more information about the informal stage see DANSP07100 onwards.

Stage 2 - The formal decision

It may be possible to resolve disputes by discussion and agreement before a formal decision is given. If

  • after discussion you cannot reach agreement, or
  • the Department for Work and Pensions (Great Britain) or the Social Security Agency on behalf of the Department for Social Development (Northern Ireland), refer a statutory payment (SP) case to HMRC requesting that HMRC issues a formal decision, or
  • a decision is requested

you should issue a formal decision. For more information about issuing decisions see DANSP12000.

Stage 3 - The appeal stage

Once a decision has been issued those named in the decision can appeal to HMRC against the decision.

If a person appeals to HMRC against the decision

  • HMRC can offer a review,
  • the appellant can ask for a review, or
  • they can notify their appeal to the tribunal.

If they opt for a review they can still notify their appeal to the tribunal if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the review.

For more information about reviews see ARTG2100.

An appeal can be settled by agreement between all interested parties or by variation of the decision at any time before the appeal is determined by the tribunal. If the decision cannot be settled by agreement or varied and the appeal is not withdrawn, the appellant may notify their appeal to the tribunal to determine the case. For more information about

You cannot settle a SP appeal by negotiating the entitlement, see DANSP05000.