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HMRC internal manual

Decisions and appeals for National Insurance Contributions and Statutory Payments

What are decisions

DANSP05500 summarises the dispute resolution process. Stage 2 is the formal stage when HMRC issue a notice of decision.

Before a decision is given, you should already have obtained all the facts, considered the application of the law to those facts and expressed your opinion, see DANSP07300 about giving an opinion.

In the notice of decision the customer is told that a HMRC officer has made a decision, which carries with it a right of appeal.

Cases in which all parties are in agreement do not normally require a decision. However, the Department for Work and Pensions (Great Britain) and the Social Security Agency (Northern Ireland) are entitled to decisions on statutory sick pay or statutory maternity pay entitlement if they request one to decide a benefit claim, see DANSP12700.

Before issuing a decision ensure you adopt the principles set out in HMRC’s litigation and settlement strategy when trying to resolve the dispute, see DANSP05000 for more information.

A decision is a step in settling the more difficult cases and must be made to the best of the officer’s information and belief.

In employment status cases any opinion and or decision you give is binding to both tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC), unless there are specific different treatments such as

  • an occupation treated differently because of the Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations 1978 (SI 1978 No 1689) (applies to Great Britain), the Social Security (Categorisation of Earners) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1978 (SR 1978 No 401), or
  • mariners and or continental shelf workers who may be liable to pay Class 1 NIC but whose status is treated differently for income tax purposes.