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HMRC internal manual

Insurance Premium Tax

Reviews, appeals and tribunals: role of Reviewing Officer

The Reviewing Officer function used to be carried out by the Deductions & Financial Services Team (see IPT08100). Now, however, provided the reviewing officer has not been involved in any way in the decision making process, an officer from one the regional review teams may be chosen. The reviewing officer will be responsible for impartially reviewing decisions and ensuring that they are not only legally and technically correct but are in line with central policy. In some cases, reviewing officers may have to vary and overturn original decisions.

The formal review will include:

  • checking that the ruling is valid;
  • undertaking the review itself, and obtaining advice as necessary;
  • ensuring that time limits are observed;
  • documenting the review decision and providing feedback to interested parties.

If necessary, the reviewing officer will also be responsible for preparing case summaries for the Solicitor’s Office for cases that go forward to appeal to a tribunal.

The reviewing officer should not be used as a consultant before decisions are issued, i.e. officers should not ask the reviewing officer whether they would, or would not, uphold a decision. If the trade become aware of such a practice it would undermine the credibility of the system. Policy or compliance staff who have been involved in the decision will be excluded from the role of reviewing officer. In those instances, another officer may be asked to carry out the review.

Remember to follow the new procedures contained in Appeals, Reviews and Tribunals guidance (ARTG) from 1 April 2009. See IPT09140 for a summary of the changes.