Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Appeals and reviews: decision makers and reviewers: reviewer (Action Guide)

This guidance applies from 1 April 2009.

Further technical guidance on reviews can be found in the Appeals, Reviews and Tribunals Guidance at ARTG4020 onwards.

Where a request for a review is made following an appeal against a fixed automatic penalty or employer segmentation banding, take the following steps 1 - 15. The guide is presented as follows.

  Steps 1 - 2
   
  Step 3
  Step 4
  Steps 5 - 7
  Step 8
  Step 9 - 14
  Step 15

Initial action

1. If a request for review has been received directly by the Review Unit following an offer of review
   
  On day of receipt
  * Check appeal received
  * Acknowledge request and seek representations if appropriate
  * Record case on any local case management system
  * Use EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY to access Employer Notes to note receipt of request for review
  * Request file / papers from decision maker
  * BF for 7 days
  * When file / papers are received, pass to reviewing officer
2. If the request for review was received at a local office and the request and the papers have been referred onto the Review Unit
  * Check the papers to see that an acknowledgement has already been sent by the decision maker. If not, send an acknowledgement
  * Record case on any local case management system
  * Pass request and papers to reviewing officer
  * Use EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY to access Employer Notes to record action taken

Review the appeal in line with reasonable excuse criteria

3. See PAYE7006 step 5 and ARTG2250 for ‘Reasonable Excuse’
   
  Note: Where a review has been offered by HMRC, the time limit within which to notify the review conclusions is 45 days from the date HMRC receive the review acceptance. If the customer has requested a review, the time limit is 45 days from the day HMRC send their view of the matter, unless a different period is agreed with the customer (see ARTG4030).
  In the exceptional event that more time is needed, this should be requested as soon as possible. Further guidance on this is in ARTG4690

Decision favourable to customer

4. Issue letter SA637 to the customer (and a copy to the agent where applicable)
   
  * Use ECS to discharge the penalty(ies)
  * A revised penalty determination will be issued automatically to the employer confirming your decision
  * Update any local case management system
  * File the papers at the Review Unit
  * Use EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY to access Employer Notes to record action taken and the location of the papers in the Review Unit
  * Make a note of the grounds of appeal

Decision not favourable to customer

5. Within 45 (or 90) days (or other agreed period) of receipt of review request
   
  * Send a review conclusion letter - SA638 - to the customer (and a copy to the agent where applicable) setting out the reasons why you are unable to accept that there is a reasonable excuse. This letter will set out the customer’s options to either accept the decision or to send their appeal to the Tribunal, and will explain that the case will be closed if the customer takes no action within 30 days
  * Where the return is still outstanding ask for it to be filed
  * Update any local case management system
  * Use EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY to access Employer Notes to record the action taken and the location of the papers
  * BF for 45 days. Then follow step 6 or 7
6. If the customer accepts the decision
  * Using ECS, remove the standover and release the penalty
  * A revised penalty determination will be issued automatically to the employer confirming your decision
  * File the papers at the Review Unit
  * Using EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY access Employer Notes and record action taken and location of the papers
  * Update any local case management system
7. If there is no response received in the Review Unit after 45 days
  * Using any locally agreed process between the Clearing House and the Review Unit, check to see if the appeal has been sent to the Tribunals Service
  If yes
  * Take no further action regarding the penalty and go to step 9
  If no
  * Issue letter SA636 (Review officers deemed determination of appeal) to the customer (and send a copy to the agent if applicable)
  * Using ECS, remove the standover and release the penalty
  * A revised penalty determination will be issued automatically to the employer confirming your decision
  * File the papers at the Review Unit
  * Using EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY access Employer Notes, and record action taken and location of the papers
  * Update any local case management system

Review not concluded within 45 days (or other agreed timescale)

8. If the review conclusion letter cannot be sent within 45 days (or any longer period previously agreed) see ARTG4850. If further time is not agreed the decision is treated as upheld and we must notify the customer
   
  * Issue letter SA640 to the customer (and a copy to the agent if applicable)
  * Use EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY to access Employer Notes to record the action taken and the location of the papers
  * Update local case management system
  * BF for 45 days. Then follow step 6 or 7

Notification from Clearing House of appeal to Tribunal

9. Note: We expect appeals to be decided by paper review unless an oral hearing is requested.
   
  If the employer requests an oral hearing go to step 14
  Time limit - HMRC must send a statement of their case to the Tribunals Service and a copy to the customer, within 42 days from receiving a copy of the notice of appeal to the Tribunal
  Further technical guidance on appeals to the Tribunal for any circumstances not covered in this guide is at ARTG8200 onwards
  * If at any time after a notification has been received from the Clearing House of an appeal to the Tribunal, you decide not to defend this appeal, contact the Tribunals Service immediately to advise that the appeal is not to be defended and write to the customer. (This would be in exceptional circumstances, such as new information or change of opinion regarding reasonable excuse)
  Follow step 4 (Decision favourable to the employer) but do not issue a SA637 letter. Issue a separate letter advising the customer of the situation
  * Otherwise go to step 10
10. Have HMRC received an appeal?
  * If Yes - go to step 11
  * If No - See ARTG8230 - contact the customer to check what they want to do. Explain that they must appeal to HMRC first before the appeal can be heard by the Tribunal
  If the conclusion is to accept the appeal to Tribunal as also being an appeal to HMRC, notify customer and Tribunal. Go to step 12 and deal with the appeal as if it were a direct appeal to Tribunal made at same time as appeal to HMRC
11. Is there an ongoing review?
  * No - go to step 12
  * Yes - inform Tribunal Service that review is ongoing. See ARTG4640 for action after review is concluded
12. Is the appeal sent to the Tribunal after a decision maker’s letter (SA633) or review conclusion letter (SA 638)?
  * Yes - Go to step 13
  * No - take the following action for direct appeals sent to the Tribunal at the same time as the appeal to HMRC (or treated as such from step 10)
  * Consider grounds of appeal under reasonable excuse criteria
  * If you decide that reasonable excuse tests are met
  * Follow step 4 but do not issue letter SA637
  * Issue a separate notification to customer that appeal accepted
  * Inform Tribunal Service that appeal not to be defended
  * If you decide that reasonable excuse tests are not met and that the appeal should proceed to the Tribunal, go to step 13
  If an appeal was made to HMRC at the same time as the appeal was sent to the Tribunal and we have already upheld the penalty or surcharge - go to step 13
13. Complete ‘Paper Hearing Submission’ form
  Note: The time limit for completing and submitting this to the Tribunals Service is 42 days from date notification of the appeal was received.
  * Send the Paper Hearing Submission form and required documents to Tribunals Service within the time limit
  * Send a copy of Paper Hearing Submission form and documents to customer
  * Update any local case management system
  * Use EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY to access Employer Notes to record action taken
14. Notification received from Ministry of Justice of decision
  * If the decision is favourable to the customer - follow procedure at step 4 - but do not issue SA637 letter
  * If decision favourable to HMRC
  * Using ECS, remove the standover and release the penalty
  * A revised penalty determination will be issued automatically to the employer confirming your decision
  * File the papers at the Review Unit
  * Using EBS Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY access Employer Notes to record action taken and location of the papers
  * Send letter to customer to advise of tribunal decision and that the penalty is now payable
  All cases
  * Close case on any local case management system
  * Complete Management Information Statistics as required
  * Feedback to decision maker if necessary

If election for oral hearing

15. If at any stage there is an election by the customer for an oral hearing, immediately complete ‘Paper Hearing Submission’ form and send this together with the complete file / papers to the Local Compliance/Appeals Unit contact
   
  If HMRC wish to elect for an oral hearing in any default paper hearing case, permission must be sought from Tax Administration Advice first through your line management. There would need to be exceptional circumstances for this