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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

Appeals: Appeals glossary

Glossary of terms

Adjourned The tribunal hearing is stopped, usually for one of the parties to obtain further information.
Appellant This is the name given to the customer who has appealed against the decision.
Appeal to the Commissioner Social Security Commissioners are lawyers of equivalent standing to High Court Judges. They are the next tier after tribunals.
Judicial review The rights of the courts to look at the administrative processes of statutory authorities like HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Leave to appeal ‘Leave’ simply means permission. When someone seeks leave to appeal, they ask the tribunal chairman for permission to appeal to the Social Security Commissioners. If the chairman refuses, permission is then sought from the Commissioners.
Oral hearing The appeal is heard by the tribunal in the presence of the customer and/or the presenting officer. Each party has the right to request an oral hearing. Oral hearings are usually requested for tax credits appeals, which are particularly complex, and those which resulted from compliance activity.
Out of jurisdiction A question on which the tribunal cannot legally make a decision, for example, an aspect of a decision which does not carry the right of appeal.
Panel A tribunal consists of up to three members, one of whom will be legally qualified.
Paper hearing The tribunal decides the appeal by looking at the papers submitted to them.
Party to the proceedings The appellant and their representative are one party to the appeal. HMRC (Tax Credit Office) is the other.
PHE form Pre-hearing enquiry form numbered TAS1.
Point of law An error in point of law is where there is reason to believe that the tribunal has interpreted or applied the law incorrectly, and is the only ground for appealing to the Social Security Commissioners.
Revised The tribunal has changed the decision under appeal.
Set aside The tribunal’s decision is made invalid and a new hearing is arranged.
Settled by agreement Settlement happens when the customer has appealed and both parties reach agreement about the tax credits decision. They could agree that the decision is correct, or how it must change. The appeal is then closed without being heard by a tribunal.
Statement of reasons The tribunal chairman’s complete statement of the facts found at the hearing and the reasons for the tribunal’s decision.
Struck out The hearing is stopped without the tribunal actually considering the appeal. The submission writer sends out of time appeals to the tribunal for them to be struck out. Struck out also occurs when the tribunal’s instructions have not been complied with. For example, the customer hasn’t provided the information that the tribunal has asked for.
Submission Details of the evidence used, the relevant legislation and an explanation of how the award was calculated or why there is no entitlement.
Summary decision The tribunal chairman’s summary of the result of the hearing. This is recorded on the TAS decision notice
Supplementary submission An additional submission sent to the tribunal following an adjournment. This is usually when new evidence has been produced, or where the tribunal has requested further information.
TAS1 Form sent to the appellant with their copy of the submission. The appellant must complete this and return it to the Tribunal Service.
Tribunal Tribunals are completely independent of HMRC. A tribunal will have up to three members.
Tribunal Service The body responsible for the administration of tribunals.
Tribunal Service decision notice The form the tribunal chairman uses to sum up the tribunal’s decision.
Upheld The tribunal has found in favour of the Board of HMRC
Want of prosecution Something which must be done. A tribunal may strike out an appeal for want of prosecution. For example, where the appellant is asked for further information but does not produce it.
Withdrawn The appellant tells us they no longer wish to pursue their appeal.
Withdrawn at tribunal The appellant writes to the Tribunal Service, or decides at the hearing that they no longer wish to pursue their appeal.