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HMRC internal manual

Self Assessment Manual

Appeals, postponements and reviews: reviews: introduction

From 1 April 2009, customers are entitled by law, to an optional review by HMRC of the decision made on the customer’s appeal to a fixed automatic penalty or surcharge.

Where the decision on the customer’s appeal is not in their favour, HMRC offer a review or in some cases, the customer may ask for a review.

The aim of the review is to provide an additional opportunity to resolve the appeal without the need to take it to tribunal.

A Review Officer, who is outside the direct line management chain of the ‘Decision Maker’ and who was not involved in the original decision, carries out the review.

Reviews are time limited and customers and Decision Makers have the right to make representations to the Review Officer reviewing the decision. The Review Officer provides a fresh viewpoint and ensures that the original decision has been properly made and that in HMRC view, it is legally correct and is a decision that we would defend at tribunal.

When the review is completed, the Review Officer writes to the customer to tell them the outcome of the review and the customer will then have a further period in which they can notify an appeal to Tribunal. The conclusion of the review will reflect HMRC official position.

The ‘Reviewers Action Guide’ can be found at SAM12020.

For further information on Reviews, see the ‘Appeals, Reviews and Tribunals Guidance (ARTG) manual.