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  • Appealing to the tribunal

Appealing to the tribunal

The tribunal is an independent legal body which makes decisions on appeals. The tribunal consists of independently appointed expert tax Judges and/or panel Members.

The tribunal often makes its decisions at or after a hearing, where both sides put their case to the tribunal in person. But in a variety of straightforward cases the tribunal will make its decision based on the written information that both sides have sent in.

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How and when to appeal to the tribunal

Generally, you must send your appeal to the tribunal within 30 days of the HMRC decision you disagree with, whether this is the original decision made by HMRC or the conclusion of an HMRC review.

In addition, you can send an appeal about a direct tax matter to the tribunal at any time after you have sent the appeal to HMRC, unless a review is under way.

There are also various situations in which you can make applications to the tribunal, for example if HMRC refuses to accept a late direct tax appeal or an indirect tax hardship application.

Also, if HMRC are carrying out an enquiry into your business’s direct tax affairs you can ask the tribunal to tell HMRC to close that enquiry, if you don’t think it’s reasonable for them to continue. Applications are dealt with by the tribunal in a similar way to an appeal.

You should complete the tribunal appeal form and send it to the following address:
Tribunals Service
2nd Floor
54 Hagley Road
B16 8PE

Tribunals appeal forms are available from the Tribunals Service website (Opens new window)


Appeals settled by tribunal

The tribunal will either:

  • write to you with its decision
  • tell you its decision at the hearing (and send you written confirmation)

If you lose your appeal

If the tribunal decides against you, you can, in some circumstances, appeal against its decision to the Upper Tribunal.

Information about the Upper Tribunal

If you win your appeal

If the tribunal decides in your favour, HMRC may ask the tribunal for permission to appeal against its decision to the Upper Tribunal.


Getting someone to act on your behalf

You don’t have to deal with HMRC personally. An accountant or other adviser can act on your behalf.

Authorising an accountant to deal with HM Revenue & Customs for you


What to do if you have further information

If at any time, you have further information that you think might affect HMRC’s decision, you should send it to the officer who sent you the decision letter. You can continue to discuss your affairs with this officer even if you have asked for a review or appealed to an independent tribunal.


Your options where there’s no right of appeal

Where there’s no right of appeal you can use the complaints process.

Alternatively, you can apply for Judicial Review. This could be very expensive so seek legal advice first.


Cost of appealing

Generally, each person will pay their own costs when appealing, for example the costs of accountant’s fees. But if any person acts unreasonably during the proceedings, the tribunal can order them to pay the other person’s costs.

There are also special rules for costs in complex cases.

For more information about costs, see the Tribunals Service website


More useful links

How to complain to HM Revenue & Customs

What to do if you can’t pay your tax bill