Appeal to the Tax Tribunal

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax) if you want to challenge some decisions by: 

  • HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) 
  • Border Force 
  • the National Crime Agency (NCA) 
  • the Welsh Revenue Authority (WRA) 

The tribunal is independent of government and will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision. 

Appeal an HMRC Decision 

You can appeal some decisions about: 

  • ‘direct tax’, for example Income Tax, PAYE tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax, National Insurance contributions, Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory Maternity Pay, Inheritance Tax - you must appeal to HMRC (external link) first 
  • ‘indirect tax’, for example VAT, excise duty, customs duty - you can usually appeal straight to the tribunal 

You must appeal within the time limit - it will usually be on your decision letter. 

You can apply for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) (external link) after you have appealed an HMRC decision. 

There is a different way to appeal decisions about Tax Credits (external link) and Council Tax (external link)

If You Cannot Pay 

You must usually pay upfront what HMRC says you owe. Make a hardship application if you cannot. Appeal to the tribunal (external link) if HMRC will not let you delay payment. 

You do not have to pay upfront if you are appealing about a penalty. 

Appeal About Seized Goods 

You must ask HMRC or Border Force to take your case to the magistrates’ court (this is known as starting ‘condemnation proceedings’) if you think they should not have taken (or ‘seized’) your goods. 

The tribunal cannot decide whether your goods were seized with good reason.  

You may be able to appeal to the tribunal if HMRC or Border Force: 

  • refuses to return your seized goods 
  • says you need to pay to get your seized goods back 
  • sends you an assessment for duty 
  • tries to charge you a penalty 

You must ask HMRC or Border Force to reconsider their decision before you can appeal. 

Closure Applications 

You can apply for a ‘closure notice (external link) if HMRC opens an enquiry to check your tax return for ‘direct tax’ (for example Income Tax, Capital Gains Tax or Corporation Tax) and you want it to be closed. 

The tribunal will decide when HMRC should close the enquiry.  

You cannot apply for a closure notice if your tax return is being checked for ‘indirect tax’. 

Appeal an NCA Decision 

The National Crime Agency (NCA) can check your tax return instead of HMRC in some cases, for example if they suspect you have been laundering money.  

You can make an appeal if you do not agree with the decision by writing to the NCA. 

National Crime Agency 

Units 1 - 6 Citadel Place 

Tinworth Street 


SE11 5EF 

Appeal a WRA Decision 

You can appeal some decisions about Land Transaction Tax and Landfill Disposals Tax. 

You can also apply to close an enquiry into your tax return. 

You must appeal within the time limit - it will usually be on your decision letter. 

You must usually pay upfront what WRA says you owe. You can request to delay paying until you get a decision about your appeal. 

Before you appeal, you can ask WRA to change their decision (external link) 

Help Available 

You may want to get help and advice before you appeal. 

You can represent yourself or get legal advice (external link) to help with your appeal. 

You can get free advice from: