Internal Review: success for taxpayers?

Last year HMRC were forced to introduce a new route to challenge Tax Inspector’s findings:  called Internal Review. Since then a quarter of tax disputes challenged by the taxpayer through Internal Review have been altered or cancelled.

Where a taxpayer and an inspector cannot agree then, since April 2009, the taxpayer has a statutory right to an appeal for Internal Review.  Other tax inspectors, out of the direct management chain of the initial inspector, carry out a ‘cold review’ and reach their own conclusions.  More than 3,000 inspector decisions were challenged by taxpayers from April 2009 to December 2009. Of those 24% had their tax demands lowered or cancelled.

Another 18,526 late filing penalties were contested through the system: with 5% being lowered and a whopping 53% cancelled.

What does it mean for me?

If you have a tax dispute or long running tax enquiry there are now two methods for bringing matters to a conclusion.  The Internal Review will bring a fresh pair of HMRC eyes to the situation and the Appeals process will bring an independent and objective judgment.  Success at either stage depends in the quality of the fact finding, presentation skills and technical knowledge of your tax adviser and their ability as an advocate.  Where worthwhile sums are at stake it is always worth engaging skilled and experienced specialist professionals to prepare your case.  Lynam Tax has already had a number of significant success at Internal Review: despite its relative novelty.

If you need advice and help in a contentious tax dispute call Paul Lynam now on 0845 643 9997 or email partners@lynamtax.co.uk