If you object to having received a Security Bond, HMRC offers a process by which you can register your disagreement, or appeal the decision.

Bear in mind; it is only worth appealing if you either feel that there are facts which have not been previously considered, or if you have another good reason why you might change their mind.

Request an Official Review

Contact HMRC directly if you wish to do this, within 30 days. You may also write to the office referenced on your Notice of  Requirement (NOR) letter.

Ensure your letter contains your company name, your allocated Case number and or VAT reference and the specifics of your disagreement.

HMRC reviews are always carried out by officers with no previous involvement in the case and can take up to 45 days to complete. Expect a letter informing you of their decision by the end of this period or, if they feel it could take longer, a letter informing you of their amended timeframe.

Use Alternative Dispute Resolution

You also have the right to use alternative dispute resolution either instead of or following, a request for review. ADR is essentially a mediation process in which skilled facilitators step in to try to help both parties reach an agreement. This will be done through meetings and telephone conversations and does incur a cost which HMRC, in some instances, will ask you to share with them.

Appeal to the First Tier Tax Tribunal

The tax tribunal is a completely independent institution which you can apply to if you still feel your situation warrants further adjudication. At the (FTT), you’ll have the opportunity for a judge to hear your case in a manner that is typically less complicated than the courts.

You’ll need to apply to the tribunal within 30 days of being offered a review by HMRC, or within 30 days of contesting a review decision. First Tier Tax Tribunal.

If you are considering an appeal to the Tribunal, you will certainly need legal representation.

Appeal to the Upper Tribunal

The Upper Tribunal be appropriate if you wish to appeal against a decision made in the FTT. You will need to appeal with 56 days of the FTT decision via the relevant appeal form.

If the FTT refuses you permission, it is your right to ask the UTT for permission via this form here. You’ll need to include copies of the FTT’s full decision, (including their refusal) within a month of it being sent. A tribunal judge will review this.

The Court of Appeal

If you lose the case in the Upper Tribunal, you may have the possibility of asking permission to approach The Court of Appeal. At this level, you may have to pay legal costs, including Court Fees, which can be high. Again, if the UTT refuses your right to appeal, you can petition the Court of Appeal directly.

Author: Mike Smith