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Tribunal Procedures

Procedures at the Tax Tribunal require the taxpayer to disprove a case put forward by HMRC. It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to disprove HMRC's contention, not for HMRC to prove its case! Achieving this requires the taxpayer's representative to have not just an understanding of the law, but also the advocacy skills to design the counter case and to present it effectively at Tribunal. Our unique approach has lead to an extremely high success rate with Tribunal Appeals. Many cases are closed with no adjustment. You can read about some of our successful Tribunal appeal cases by following this link. Where possible you can read the actual decision documents.

We are able to assist with issues of all sizes from a lone individual to a national bank, and are available throughout the UK and abroad.

Interaction With Tribunal

I cannot over emphasise the excellence of the tribunal system. It does not charge a fee to consider cases, proceedings are informal and the judges friendly and helpful. Tribunals are completely independent of HMRC; the judiciary who run it come to objective conclusions on the balance of probabilities, having regard to all the circumstances.

The taxpayer does not need to be in any way apprehensive or in fear of tribunal.

That tribunals are informal does not however detract from the fact that they are very real courts of law! HMRC field, at the very least, specialist staff who are trained in the production and presentation of cases, and may even be formally trained and qualified legal advocates.

It is essential that the taxpayer's case is carefully prepared and presented. Whilst we aim to achieve settlements with HMRC, we are always mindful, in the conduct of a case, of the possible need to go to tribunal. At every stage of working a case, from the first day of accepting an instruction we work towards producing as complete a picture as possible ongoing.

Additionally, on the day it is necessary to be fluid in approach, and able to respond quickly to changing circumstances as HMRC present evidence, and staff give testimony. The ability to robustly cross examine HMRC's witnesses is essential. Since the inception of tribunal's two tax chambers in 2009 I have presented large numbers of cases throughout the UK with a very, very significant degree of success.

HMRC's Tax Tribunal Appeal Approach

HMRC's approach is fairly standard, involving a challenge about one or more points, and then awaiting the taxpayer's counter case. We have rationalised the weaknesses of HMRC's cases into four primary scenarios which you can read about by clicking here.

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