Tax Tribunal Representation
Tribunal Solutions’ primary activity is representing Appellants before the First Tier Tax Tribunal. Most of our assignments are referrals from accountants, lawyers or financial advisers.
They recognise that their expertise lies in the core work they do for their clients but that appearing before a Tax Tribunal is not part of their mainstream activities. We can deal with all aspects of self assessment, VAT, PAYE/NIC, Corporation Tax, CIS, CGT, IHT including penalty and surcharge cases, determinations, assessments and gross payment or employment status cases. When we are asked to help, the process is usually as follows:
- Normally we will have an initial discussion over the phone to enable us to assess whether we can help. If we think we can, we will arrange a time to meet in order to review the case in greater detail.
- As part of our formal appointment, we will provide a fee quotation which may contain a success fee if appropriate.
- We will also check any deadlines for Appeals and other time limits.
- We will attempt to find ways to resolve the dispute without the need for a hearing before the Tax Tribunal (it is surprising how often HMRC are not aware of all the surrounding facts).
- If a Tax Tribunal hearing cannot be avoided we will commence gathering all the information, statements and evidence needed to maximise the chance of a successful result and review the HMRC Statement of Case/ Skeleton Argument when produced.
- We will attend the Tax Tribunal hearing (possibly with the client and adviser attending if appropriate) and present the case.
This process will depend on the complexity of the case. In simpler cases, it may be that most of the work can be done by correspondence.
Julian Stafford is an accredited mediator through CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution). HMRC are currently evaluating the results of their pilot tax mediation project. If, as expected, it is judged a success, it is likely to be rolled out in more tax-related cases. If a matter is appropriate for mediation, Julian Stafford can act as the client adviser at a mediation hearing to obtain an optimum negotiated result based on his knowledge of the process and principles.