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HMRC internal manual

Tax Credits Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Appeal stages - Mandatory Reconsideration - initial action

Checklist

Before you follow this guidance make sure you

  • you follow the guidance in TCM0138020 
  • have the correct user roles to follow this guidance. Use B&C Roles and Access Catalogue. You can find this by going to the Benefits & Credits homepage, selecting ’R’ on the B&C A-Z index, selecting ‘Roles and Access Catalogue’ from the Related links menu
  • have access to the Appeals database.

Background

From 6 April 2014 HMRC are introducing a change to the appeals process for tax credits, in line with the Welfare Reform Act 2012. If a customer does not agree with a decision on their entitlement, they will have to ask HMRC to reconsider the decision before they can appeal to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). This is known as a ‘Mandatory Reconsideration’ (MR).

A request for a Mandatory Reconsideration must be made in writing and must be made against a notice that carries Mandatory Reconsideration rights.

Decisions that carry a right to a Mandatory Reconsideration are:

  • initial decisions to whether to award tax credits and the rate at which to pay
  • revised decisions made in response to the customer telling the Tax Credits Office (TCO) about a change of circumstances
  • other decisions revised and made by the Board of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) (the Board)
  • decisions on entitlement made after an enquiry by the Board
  • discovery decisions made in consequence of a customer’s income tax liability being revised
  • revisions due to official error
  • decisions made after the issue of a final notice
  • decisions made to impose penalties
  • decisions made to charge interest on overpaid tax credits
  • decisions made where a Statement of Account has been issued and the case has been terminated or ceased because the customer has not provided bank details.

Guidance

Note: When sending customer, staff or process data to another individual or team, make sure you follow the latest data security guidelines or contact the Data Guardian or Data Security Team for advice.

Step 1

Check if the correspondence contains a Subject Access Request (SAR).

If there is a SAR

  • send a photocopy of the correspondence to the SAR team (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)
  • go to .

If there is not a SAR, go to .

Step 2

Check the date of the decision that the customer is asking us to reconsider, for how to do this use TCM1000119.

If the decision was made before 6 April 2014, follow the guidance in TCM0014040.

If the decision was made on or after 6 April 2014, go to .

Step 3

Check Household Notes to see if the customer has already had a Mandatory Reconsideration notice for the decision they are asking to be reconsidered, for how to do this use TCM1000067.

If the customer has had a Mandatory Reconsideration notice for this decision, go to .

If the customer has not had a Mandatory Reconsideration notice for this decision, go to .

Step 4

Note: Where the customer has an authorised representative, we will need to write to them providing we have written authority that they can act on the customer’s behalf.

Note: If the customer has an authorised representative, the authorised representative can ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration providing that we have written authority that the authorised representative can act on their behalf.

Check Household Notes to see if the customer has an authorised representative, for how to do this use TCM1000067.

  • go to .

Step 5

Note: If the customer now lives overseas they should submit their appeal to the relevant office where they were previously resident in Great Britain.

Check where the customer lives, for how to do this use TCM1000111.

If the customer lives in England or Wales

  • send a letter to the customer or authorised representative telling them that they have already had a Mandatory Reconsideration and if they want to appeal to send their appeal to:

HMCTS
SSCS Appeals Centre
PO Box 1203
Bradford
BD1 9WP

  • update Household Notes with message AR04 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • take no further action.

If the customer lives in Scotland

  • send a letter to the customer or authorised representative telling them that they have already had a Mandatory Reconsideration and if they want to appeal to send their appeal to:

HMCTS
SSCS Appeals Centre
PO Box 27080
Glasgow
G2 9HQ

  • update Household Notes with message AR04 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • take no further action.

If the customer lives in Northern Ireland

  • send a letter to the customer or authorised representative telling them that they have already had a Mandatory Reconsideration and if they want to appeal to send their appeal to:

The Appeals Service
Millennium House
Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7AQ

  • update Household Notes with message AR04 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • take no further action.

Step 6

Note: There is no requirement for the request to be signed, if the customer’s name appears on the request.

Note: Where the customer has an authorised representative, we will need to write to them providing we have written authority that they can act on the customer’s behalf, for how to check if there is an authorised representative use TCM1000067.

Check if the customer’s name is on the request.

If the customer’s name is on the request, go to .

If the customer’s name is not on the request, go to .

Step 7

Check if the request has been received within 30 days of the decision notice.

If the request was received within 30 days of the decision notice, go to .

If the request was not received within 30 days of the decision notice, go to .

Step 8

Check if the customer can be traced so the correspondence can be returned to them for their name to be included on the request.

If it is possible to trace the name and address of the customer

  • return the request for their name to be included, for how to do this follow local procedures
  • update Household Notes with message AC03 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001
  • place in BF for 30 days
  • take no further action.

If it is not possible to trace the name and address of the customer

  • dispose of the correspondence, following local procedures.

Step 9

Check if the decision we are being asked to reconsider carries Mandatory Reconsideration rights.

If the customer or authorised representative is asking us to reconsider a decision that carries Mandatory Reconsideration rights, go to .

If the customer or authorised representative is asking us to reconsider a decision that does not carry Mandatory Reconsideration rights, go to .

Step 10

Suspend overpayment recovery

  • apply the appeal marker on the tax credits computer, for how to do this use TCM1000444 
  • update Household Notes with the message AR01 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • complete the appropriate coloured coversheet, following local procedures
  • register on the Appeals database, following local procedures
  • check Household Notes to see which work area (BAU or Compliance) you need to send the case papers to, for how to do this use TCM1000067 
  • send the case papers to the relevant area following local procedures

Note: For cases where the decision has been made by Concentrix (the EFAC supplier), send the case papers to RR Donnelley at the following address:

RR Donnelley
PO Box 4949
Lancing
BN11 9YS

  • take no further action.

Step 11

Check if the customer or authorised representative is asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration against a Compliance decision, for how to do this use TCM1000067.

If the customer or authorised representative is asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration of a Compliance decision

  • send the case papers to the relevant Compliance Officer following local procedures

Note: For cases where the decision has been made by Concentrix (the EFAC supplier), send the case papers to RR Donnelley at the following address:

RR Donnelley
PO Box 4949
Lancing
BN11 9YS

  • update Household Notes with the message AR01 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • take no further action.

If the customer or authorised representative is not asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration of a Compliance decision, go to .

Step 12

Check if the customer or authorised representative has provided reason(s) for the late request.

If the customer or authorised representative has provided a reason for the late request, go to .

If the customer or authorised representative has not provided a reason for the late request, go to .

Step 13

Consider the reason(s) for the late request for a Mandatory Reconsideration.

Note: Acceptable reasons for lateness are:

  • the customer or their partner or a dependant of the customer has died or suffered a serious illness
  • the customer is not resident in the United Kingdom
  • normal postal services were disrupted.

Note: It may be in the interests of justice to treat the reconsideration request as made in time if some other special circumstances exist that are wholly exceptional and relevant.

If the customer or authorised representative has mentioned one of the above three reasons

  • accept the late Mandatory Reconsideration request
  • go to .

If the customer or authorised representative has not mentioned one of the above reasons

  • pass the case papers to your line manager to decide if the reasons provided are acceptable

Note: Only pass the case to your line manager if you are unsure whether to accept the reason for lateness because not all cases outside the ‘special circumstances’ criteria need to be referred to a manager. This is because some case workers will feel confident enough to make the decision themselves.

  • when you receive a decision from your manager, go to .

Step 14

Check if the reason(s) for the late Mandatory Reconsideration have been accepted.

If the reason(s) for the late request have been accepted

  • suspend overpayment recovery by applying the appeal marker, for how to do this use TCM1000444 
  • update Household Notes with the message AR03 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • complete the appropriate coloured coversheet, following local procedures
  • register the decision on the Appeals database, following local procedures
  • check Household Notes to see which work area (BAU or Compliance) you need to send the case papers to, for how to do this use TCM1000067 
  • send the case papers to the relevant area following local procedures
  • take no further action.

If the reason(s) for the late request are not accepted, go to .

Step 15

Check if there has been an official error which led to an incorrect decision.

Note: Official error is where:

  • an officer has made an error which resulted in an incorrect decision; and
  • the customer did not materially contribute to the error.

Note: Under these circumstances the incorrect decision may be revised provided that:

* no more than five years has passed since the incorrect decision was given; and
* the new decision will be in favour of the customer

Note: Where it is accepted that a decision is incorrect through official error, that error does not cease to be an official error where the customer failed to identify the error on an award notice and so failed to inform HMRC of the mistake within 30 days.

Note: Further information on official error and decision making can be found in the Tax Credit Technical Manual, TCTM09430 and TCTM09460.

If there has been official error

  • correct the decision on NTC
  • update Household Notes with the message AR11 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • send TC1130 to the customer or authorised representative
  • take no further action.

If there has not been official error, go to .

Step 16

Check if the customer or authorised representative is disputing the decision to recover their overpayment.

If the customer or authorised representative is disputing the decision to recover their overpayment

  • send TC1130 to the customer or authorised representative
  • update Household Notes with the message AR11 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • send case papers to the Disputed Overpayment team
  • take no further action.

If the customer or authorised representative is not disputing the recovery of their overpayment

  • send TC1130 to the customer or authorised representative
  • update Household Notes with the message AR11 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • take no further action.

Step 17

Contact the customer or authorised representative by phone to obtain the reason for the late Mandatory Reconsideration request, for how to do this use TCM0094080.

Note: Make three attempts to call the customer or authorised representative at various times of the day to maximise the opportunity to contact the customer or authorised representative. Ensure that your last attempt is made before the final post collection of the day to enable you to write to the customer or authorised representative if your call is unsuccessful. If you started the case after lunch, make your third attempt on the following day but before the last post collection.

If you are able to contact the customer or authorised representative by phone

  • obtain the reason for lateness
  • record the details of the call on a TC648
  • go to .

If you are unable to contact the customer or authorised representative by phone

  • record this on a TC648
  • go to .

Step 18

Contact the customer or authorised representative by phone to explain that the decision does not carry the rights to a Mandatory Reconsideration, for how to do this use TCM0094080.

Note: Make three attempts to call the customer or authorised representative at various times of the day to maximise the opportunity to contact the customer or authorised representative. Ensure that your last attempt is made before the final post collection of the day to enable you to write to the customer or authorised representative if your call is unsuccessful. If you started to work the case after lunch, make your third attempt on the following day but before the last post collection.

If you are able to contact the customer or authorised representative by phone

  • explain that the decision does not carry rights to a Mandatory Reconsideration
  • tell the customer or authorised representative that we will send their documents to the relevant team to action if appropriate
  • record details of the call on a TC648
  • update Household Notes with the message AR05 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • take no further action.

If you are unable to contact the customer or authorised representative by phone

  • issue a TC822 to the customer or authorised representative
  • retain a copy of the TC822 with the case papers
  • update Household Notes with the message AR05 from TCM0156020, for how to do this use TCM1000001 
  • send documents to the relevant team
  • take no further action.