In England and Wales it is usual for the appellant or his
representative to make an opening statement in which he recites
what he considers to be the main facts which support his case and
sets out his contentions. In Scotland it is not the practice to
make opening statements. However, to enable the Commissioners to
obtain a general idea of the nature of the case the appellant or,
if invited to do so, you, should state briefly the background to
the appeal and the nature of the point in dispute.
Where the facts are in dispute, the appellant should then proceed to lead evidence aimed at proving the facts which he considers support his case. AH0835 and AH0851 set out the actions you should take during the appellant's opening and the examination in chief of his witnesses.
As to your cross-examination of those witnesses, and their re-examination, see AH0870 and AH0890.
After the appellant has led all his evidence, you then call and examine any witnesses of your own, who will in turn be cross-examined by the appellant or his agent (see AH0885) and then re- examined, if necessary, by you.
After all the evidence has been led, the appellant or his representative will address the Commissioners on the facts which he considers to have been proved and on the law pertaining to the issue. You will then similarly address the Commissioners. You should begin with a full review of the material facts and distinguish those which may not have been fully or correctly proved by the appellant. You should then give the Commissioners a concise summary of the HMRC's contentions and support these by reference to the relevant documents or facts which have been proved.
At this stage you should also refer to the relevant case law and legislation. It is important to note that you should not only advance the arguments for the HMRC but also reply to the various contentions made by the appellant or his representatives. You should conclude your case by summarising the important points and your main contentions.
Once you have concluded your case, the appellant or his representative then has a final reply (see AH1000).