The new Tribunals system
The new Tribunal system will be launched on 1 April 2009 and will operate very differently to the old system that involved ‘General’ and ‘Special’ Commissioners.
These changes include a new streamlined two-tier tribunal system which will deal with all taxes. The first tier will deal with the majority of cases whilst the second tier will deal with highly complex cases and with appeals on points of law from the first tier.
It is also hoped that some straightforward appeals will be dealt with on paper without the need for HMRC or the appellant to appear.
A new process is also being launched which will allow businesses to request an HMRC internal review of certain tax decisions. The process will replace reconsiderations and mandatory reviews.
It is hoped that as part of these reforms there will also be a reduction in the number of cases that require a full Tribunal hearing and that the costs of such hearings will be reduced.