How to appeal a Tax Penalty
Its a question we often get asked - How do you appeal a tax penalty?If you've been unlucky enough that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have imposed a tax penalty on you, a taxpayer then you or your appointed agent (usually accountant) are allowed to lodge an appeal against the penalty.
But the crucial thing is knowing that the grounds upon which to make the appeal will depend on the nature of the penalty and its circumstances.
A penalty for late filing of a tax return can be appealed on the grounds that the tax payer had a fair and reasonable excuse for having to file the tax return late. A sample of some of the reasons that are valid are as per below.
And try to remember, while HMRC seem quick to apply penalties they are also fair to review them and normally always offer an opportunity to review all penalty decisions. But if the penalty still applies following the review, the tax payer shouldn't lose heart and can always make an appeal to the First Tier Tax Tribunal, if they feel that their appeal is truly justified.
Making an appeal in a Tribunal.
Normally this will involve the preparation of 'trail bundle' which is basically a pack of documents that contain copies of all papers that the defendant is going to be relying on in the case and they have to be disclosed together with, if appropriate and possible, any legal case law that applies.
The bundle may contain different stuff and it usually depends on the nature of the case, e.g. if a taxpayer is appealing a late filing penalty because he was ill and unable to submit the return, then he possibly needs only to bring a doctor's official certificate or hospital and medical records showing this to be the case.
While in the course of an appeal a taxpayer or their appointed representative will be required to present their case and then present their evidence to the Tribunal, calling any persons as witnesses if they feel it will help their case.
Simply like all legal cases the quality of evidence is whats important. Each party in the case will have a keen interest to expose the other party's and their evidence or witnesses as an untrue or unreliable to base the decision on. The judge will decide based on these presentations.
In some cases an appeal can be lodged to the Upper Tax Tribunal if it is felt that the First Tier Tribunal decision was incorrect. In most cases however it never gets to this point as the vast majority of appeals are handled by HMRC themselves at the earliest stage.
Tax Affinity Accountants are experts in Tax and Accounting for businesses and individuals. Based in Kingston upon Thames they cover the whole of the London area with many satisfied clients. If you have any tax appeal requirements please feel to call or visit our website at www.taxaffinity.com.
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