If HMRC makes a decision with which the taxpayer disagrees, it is sometimes necessary for an independent tribunal to consider the case.
The cost of attending tribunal often includes professional advice, but a taxpayer can represent themselves at tribunal to appeal a decision by HMRC and express their point of view before an impartial chairman. Now however the Ministry of Justice proposes that justice cannot be free, effectively excluding many smaller businesses.
A consultation was issued in August 2015 proposing the introduction of fees for taxpayers appealing to the First-tier or Upper Tribunal. It is proposed that the FTT will charge £50 for paper and basic cases and £200 for standard and complex cases. For a full hearing, the fee would be £200 for a basic case, £500 for a standard case and £1,000 for a complex case.
For the Upper Tribunal the proposed fees are £100 to seek permission to appeal, £200 for a hearing where permission has been refused, and £2,000 for a substantive appeal hearing.
The proposals form part of a wider consultation on plans to introduce or increase fees for those using the Courts and Tribunals. The consultation runs until 15 September 2015.