Review of matters determined; provision for statutory review
To coincide with the major reforms of the tribunal system in 2009 HMRC introduced a statutory right for those making an appeal against a decision by HMRC to ask HMRC to review its decision before the matter is considered by a tribunal.
This statutory right to a review was introduced for Inheritance Tax by the insertion of sections 223A to 223I into the IHTA 1984.
Where a taxpayer makes an appeal against a determination, IHTA1984/S223B gives the taxpayer or agent a right to require HMRC to review ‘the matter in question’. The ‘matter in question’ is defined by IHTA1984/S223I(1)(a) as the matter to which an appeal relates.
If an taxpayer or agent requires a review, HMRC must notify the taxpayer of our view of the matter (usually) within 30 days of the day we receive the review request. The review team must then undertake the review in accordance with IHTA1984/S223E and notify the taxpayer or agent of the outcome within 45 days of the date we gave our ‘view of the matter’. The review can uphold HMRC’s view of the matter in question but it could vary or cancel it.
The taxpayer or agent is not obliged to ask for a review.
The legislation envisages that the taxpayer and HMRC may want to continue discussions about the matter in dispute after an appeal has been made. However, if the issue is not resolved through discussion and the taxpayer does not ask for a review or ask the tribunal to hear their appeal, HMRC may nevertheless offer the taxpayer a review in accordance with IHTA84/S223C. At the same time we offer the review we must also give our view of the matter (which may or may not be the same as the Notice of Determination (NOD)).
The taxpayer or agent has 30 days in which to accept the offer of a review or to refer their appeal to the tribunal. If they do neither, the appeal is concluded in accordance with HMRC’s view of the matter.
Further information about reviews and appeals can be found in the Appeals, Reviews and Tribunals Guidance (ARTG).