Appeal against a tax decision

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will write to tell you if you can appeal against a tax decision.

How you appeal against a decision depends on if it’s direct or indirect tax.

Direct tax includes:

  • Income Tax
  • PAYE tax
  • Corporation Tax
  • Capital Gains Tax
  • National Insurance contributions
  • Inheritance Tax

Indirect tax includes:

  • VAT
  • Excise Duty
  • Customs Duty
  • environmental taxes such as Plastic Packaging Tax, Landfill Tax or the Climate Change Levy

Appeal against a direct tax decision

Your decision letter will tell you how to make an appeal and when you must appeal by. The deadline is usually 30 days from the date of the letter.

If you or your business was affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and the decision was dated before 1 October 2021, HMRC will give you an extra 3 months after the deadline to appeal. Send your appeal as soon as you can, and explain the delay is because of COVID-19.

You can either:

  • use the appeal form you got with your decision letter
  • write to HMRC at the address on the letter

If you do not have a letter you can write to the HMRC office related to your return.

You must include:

  • your name or business name
  • your tax reference number (this will be on the decision letter)
  • what you disagree with and why

You can also include what you think the correct figures are and how you’ve calculated them if you like.

You should also tell HMRC if you have any extra information or if you think they’ve missed something.

After you send your appeal

The case worker who made the decision will look at your case again and consider your appeal.

If they do not change their decision after this, you’ll be offered a review. This is where the decision is looked at by someone at HMRC who was not involved in the original decision.

You can accept the offer of a review or appeal to the tax tribunal.

Reviews are usually quicker than appeals to the tax tribunal.

You’ll have 30 days from the date of the review offer to accept the offer of a review.

Appeal against an indirect tax decision

You’ll be offered a review by HMRC in its decision letter. You can either accept the offer of a review or appeal to the tax tribunal.

You’ll have 30 days from the date of the decision to accept the offer.

If customs has seized your things, you can ask for them back.