In December 2013 HMRC published a paper entitled HMRC’s Reviews and Appeals 2012/13.
The paper contains information and analysis about appeals against HMRC’s tax decisions for the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013, including internal reviews and cases taken to the tribunal.
As per the paper:
"Where a customer disagrees with a decis ion made by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), they can ask for a review, make an appeal to an independent tribunal, or take both actions. Every year HMRC makes millions of decisions. Customers ask for reviews and make appeals in relation to only a small proportion of decisions."
"Taxpayers asked HMRC for reviews of 38,975 decisions in 2012-13 and HMRC completed 39,156 reviews, which includes the clearance of some cases from previous years. The number of review requests has fallen from 55,764 in 2011-12.Out of the 39,156 reviews completed 54% were upheld, and 6% varied.
The decrease in reviews requested was mainly caused by fewer customers asking for reviews of VAT Default Surcharges and late filing and late payment penalties for Income Tax Self-Assessment (ITSA) and Pay as You Earn (PAYE). The number of reviews for VAT default surcharges decreased from 30,345 in 2011-12 to 20,046 in 2012-13.
There were fewer VAT default surcharges being issued in 2012-13 as compliance improves. When the first late filing and late payment penalties were issued in 2011-12 the number of requests for review of such penalties increased. The number went down in 2012-13, as customers become more familiar with the new system."
Taxpayers made 7,560 appeals to the tribunal in 2012-13. 4,564 cases were closed, either by a formal hearing by the tribunal, or by settlement before the hearing. 17% were decided in the taxpayers' favour.
Tax does have to be taxing.
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