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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer records: set up employer record: election for separate schemes - appeals

An improper purpose notice will be sent where a higher officer has refused to accept an employers’ election for separate schemes on the grounds that the election has been made for an improper purpose.

An improper purpose is essentially for the purpose of reducing scheme size in order to achieve one or more of the following

  • Avoid the requirement imposed on large and medium employers to file an annual return online
  • Avoid the requirement imposed on large employers to make payments electronically
  • Receive an incentive payment as a small employer for voluntarily filing an annual return online

If the customer does not accept your decision, they have 30 days from the date you issue the decision letter within which to send you an appeal. Once they have appealed you may offer a review or the customer may request a review by HMRC. Alternatively they may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. - see the Appeals Review and Tribunals Guidance (ARTG) for more information about what to do if you receive an appeal.

The grounds of appeal are

  • That the election was not made wholly or mainly for an improper purpose
  • That the improper purpose notice was not issued within 60 days of the election

The appeal

  • Must be in writing
  • Must be made within 30 days of the issue of the improper purpose notice

Late appeals

A late appeal may be accepted if you are satisfied that

  • There was a reasonable excusefor the appeal being late
  • The appeal has been made without unreasonable delay after the time limit

All appeals must be dealt with as priority and submitted to an Inspector for guidance.

The appeal may be settled by

  • Section 54 Taxes Management Act 1970 agreement (or it may be treated as settled by agreement)
  • Withdrawal by the appellant
  • Tribunal determination