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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Appeals, postponements and reviews: appeals: what constitutes a valid appeal?

Requirements for the submission of an appeal

The requirements for the submission of an appeal are the appeal

  • Should be in writing and signed

Certain appeals will also be accepted by telephone or online, provided the usual customer verification rules are followed 


  • Must be made within 30 days of the issue of the Notice of Liability
  • In the case of a partnership, must be made by the nominated partner, see subject ‘Maintain Taxpayer Record: Nominated Partner’ (SAM101290), or his / her successor, or agent

The officer dealing with the appeal should use discretion as to whether the request is an appeal and whether the 30 day appeal period has been met. Appeals made via the customers Personal or Business Tax Account should be treated as signed appeals.

In practice, to allow for the print and issue of Notices of Liability, 37 days should be allowed from the date the charge is recorded on the taxpayer record. For tax years 2009-10 and earlier, the time allowed is 35 days.

The customer can ask the tribunal to consider a late appeal over and above the 30 day period, with or without a valid reason, and HMRC would have to respond to the tribunal. For this reason an appeal should not routinely be rejected especially if the appeal grounds are likely to be valid.

Note: Guidance on the handling of late appeals can be found in the Appeals Reviews and Tribunals Guidance (ARTG Manual).

Notices of Appeal

Notices of Appeal are automatically issued to the taxpayer with the relevant Notices of Liability. Whilst these will frequently be used to make appeals and postponement applications an appeal need not be made on one of these forms. It may, for example, be contained in a letter.

If you are in doubt as to whether an item of correspondence constitutes an appeal, refer to your manager for advice.