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29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
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04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
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01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
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23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
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09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Great Interaction
Great interaction. I had a simple question which would have cost a fortune going to see a local solicitor. It was all very professional but still friendly. The solicitor I spoke to was the chief executive of her law firm (I looked her up on LinkedIn). You are dealing with very good lawyers who earn additional money through Lawhive. I would definitely use this service again. Highly recommend.
Mark,
29 December, 23
The solicitor who was appointed to me was outstanding
Very simple to engage with instant confirmation in writing straight after. Daniel, the solicitor who was appointed to me, was outstanding in his approach, his understanding of the technicalities of the law and, crucially, a genuine care for the client. Would definitely advise using Lawhive, you won't regret it.
Tahir Idris,
04 October, 23
We were so pleased to find the Lawhive website
After struggling to find a solicitor willing to give us advice, and for a reasonable cost, we were so pleased to find the Lawhive website. At first we wondered how well it would work, but needn't have worried at all - the whole process was simple, straightforward and professional and great value for money. We felt extremely lucky to be matched with our solicitor, Sonay Erten, as she was exactly what we were looking for - knowledgeable, patient and kind - a refreshing change from solicitors we have used in the past. She showed a great deal of empathy for our situation and explained things in language that was easy to understand (rather than the usual "solicitor" talk, which can be intimidating). She's a shining example of what a solicitor should aspire to be and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her to others or use her again in the future. We came out of our session reassured and confident of what we needed to do going forward, so a big "thank you!"
Julie Taylor,
01 June, 23
Fast and professional
I got the outcome I wanted regarding cease and desist to a competitor spreading defamatory statements about my business. Fast and professional, and at a much lower price than high street firms. Highly recommended thanks.
Jason Hunter,
23 July, 23
Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
I found the website very easy to use. Quick responses and I was even able to talk to someone who was friendly and competent. She rang me rather than emailed me. A solicitor was quickly found who could help me and once the relevant identification was approved he started work. Within two days the solicitor had checked documents and commented on them. Very efficient! Can highly recommend.
Pauline Piper,
15 February, 23
The service was fast and ultra professional
Sonay was really informative and understood my questions instantly, what I thought was complex Sonay simplified massively. She regularly checked in and the service was fast and ultra professional. Would highly recommend.
Jamie Crichton,
09 November, 23
Great service and very reasonably priced,
Great service and very reasonably priced, Kem was really helpful and professional. Would use again
Sarah Shanks,
21 November, 23
Rated 4.8 / 5. Showing our 4 & 5 star reviews.

About

HMRC Disputes are a legal process in which a taxpayer disputes the amount of tax they owe to HMRC. Solicitors are essential in HMRC disputes to ensure a smooth application and favourable outcome.Next steps

How much does an HMRC Dispute cost?

The cost for a licensed solicitor to help with an HMRC Dispute is dependent on many factors including the complexity and specific requirements of the case. On average it is expected to range from £225-£300 but in some cases it could cost as much as £330.

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Sometimes disputes can arise after an appealable decision from HMRC, such as when they raise an assessment, conclude an enquiry, or issue a penalty decision. 

But going head-to-head with HMRC can feel like venturing into uncharted territory if you’re unfamiliar with the processes involved. Fortunately, there are various ways to manage HMRC disputes effectively whether you’re an individual taxpayer or business owner. 

At Lawhive, our network of expert money, tax, and debt lawyers specialise in guiding clients through HMRC disputes, providing expert advice and representation tailored to your specific circumstances.

So, if you are caught up in an HMRC dispute, contact us today for a free case evaluation and quote from our legal assessment team. 

When can you dispute a decision from HMRC? 

You can challenge a decision from HMRC relating to a: 

  • Tax bill

  • Tax relief claim 

  • Request for information

  • Penalties (i.e. for late payment of taxes or a late tax return)

When HMRC makes a decision, they’ll send you a letter explaining it. This letter will also tell you if you have the right to appeal. 

When can you ask HMRC to cancel the tax you owe? 

You may be able to request HMRC cancel the tax you owe if you believe that HMRC didn’t take action based on information provided by you, your employer, or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and the tax demand is based on incorrect information. 

Can you appeal against a tax decision from HMRC? 

You may have the right to appeal against a tax decision from HMRC. They’ll tell you if you can. 

How you appeal a tax decision from HMRC depends on whether it relates to direct or indirect tax.

Can you appeal against HMRC penalties? 

HMRC usually impose penalties if they assess a taxpayer’s behaviour as careless or deliberate, with the latter usually coming with significantly heavier penalties.

You can appeal HMRC penalties in the same way as tax decisions. In penalty cases, the burden of proof is on HMRC to prove deliberate or careless behaviour. 

If you have received a penalty for deliberate or careless behaviour, it’s a good idea to get advice to better understand your situation and the strength of your appeal. 

What is a closure notice? 

When HMRC finishes a tax investigation, they issue a closure notice. If you disagree with the findings of the closure notice, you have 30 days to appeal to the HMRC investigator, outlining the grounds for your appeals and requesting a postponement of the disputed tax payment. 

How to appeal a direct tax decision 

Direct tax includes things like income tax, PAYE, corporation tax, Capital Gains Tax, National Insurance Contributions, and Inheritance tax

If you want to appeal a decision on direct tax, your decision letter will provide instructions on how to do so and the deadline, which is usually within 30 days.

Typically, this involves using the appeal form provided with your decision letter. Alternatively, you can write to HMRC at the address mentioned in the letter or the relevant HMRC office. 

When you appeal a direct tax decision with HMRC, your case will be reviewed by a case worker. If the decision remains unchanged, you can have your case reviewed by someone not involved in the initial decision and you may receive a review offer. You can accept this or appeal to the tax tribunal.

How to appeal an indirect tax decision 

Indirect tax includes VAT, excise duty, customs duty, and environmental taxes.

If you want to appeal an indirect tax decision, HMRC will offer a review in your decision letter. You can accept the review or appeal to the tax tribunal within 30 days from the decision date. 

It’s important to note that if your case involves direct tax, you have to appeal to HMRC first before taking the matter to the tax tribunal. 

What is an independent internal review? 

When you’re in a dispute with HMRC, an independent internal review is often the first step in resolving the issue. As HMRC is required to respond to requests for an internal review within specific timeframes, it can be a relatively fast way of resolving HMRC disputes.

During the process, an HMRC officer who wasn’t part of the original decision will review your case and decide whether the original decision aligns with the law and HMRC guidelines. 

Alternative dispute resolution for HMRC disputes 

If negotiations don’t settle an HMRC dispute, Alternative Dispute Resolution might be worth considering. It’s often a quicker and less expensive route compared with traditional litigation and can be used alongside tribunal applications. 

What is the First-Tier Tax Tribunal? 

The first-tier tax tribunal operates independently of HMRC and falls under the administration of the Tribunals Service. Its role is to assess appeals based on the facts presented and the legal arguments from both taxpayers and HMRC. 

If HMRC disputes can’t be resolved through an independent review or ADR, you can take an appeal to the first-tier tax tribunal. However, appealing to the tribunal can be a lengthy process with additional costs involved. What’s more, there’s no guarantee that your appeal will be successful. Therefore, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons carefully.

Our network of money, tax, and debt lawyers can help you in making this decision.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation with our legal assessment specialists to find out more. 

How to appeal to the first-tier tax tribunal

To appeal to the tribunal, you need to write to the Tribunals Service within 30 days of receiving the decision later from HMRC. Or, if you chose to have an independent review, 30 days from receiving the review conclusions letter. 

You can do this through the appeal form on the Tribunals Service website or contact the Tribunals Service to request a copy of the form. 

When the Tribunals Service receives your appeal form, they’ll either schedule a hearing to resolve your HMRC dispute or, in simpler cases, make a decision based on information provided by both parties without a hearing. 

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What is the best way to resolve disputes with HMRC? 

The most efficient way to resolve an HMRC dispute is to approach the process with an open mind, willing to cooperate, and (in some cases) compromise. You should also make sure you’re aware of all of the deadlines involved and respond to any communications in good time. 

The strategy you take to resolve an HMRC dispute depends on your case. Sometimes, taking a matter to the tax tribunal isn’t the best course of action. Instead, it may be better to consider settlement. But this isn’t always the case and HMRC isn’t known for taking a soft approach to matters which can leave you feeling unsure of your position and intimidated. 

If you find yourself in this position but believe your case is strong, then taking the matter to the tribunal may be the best course of action. It all depends on your situation.

A tax lawyer can explain the strength of your case and help you understand all the options available to you, so you can make a confident, informed decision. 

How should I manage my tax payments during an HMRC dispute? 

If your dispute involves direct tax, you can request HMRC to delay collecting the disputed tax until the appeal is resolved, either by a settlement agreement or the tribunal. However, interest will still be added to any postponed or unpaid tax throughout the dispute. 

Following the resolution of the dispute or the tribunal’s decision, you should pay the tax as per the circumstances. 

For indirect tax disputes (except Customs matters), HMRC won’t collect the disputed tax during the independent review. However, you do have to pay the disputed tax before your case can be heard by the tribunal unless you make other arrangements with HMRC due to hardship. 

Again, after the tribunal reaches a decision, you have to pay any tax due as per their decision. HMRC will reimburse any amounts owed to you in line with the tribunal decision, plus applicable interest. 

Do I need a solicitor to appeal a decision by HMRC? 

You don’t need a solicitor to prepare and send an appeal to HMRC, but it may be worth your time and money to seek legal advice from a money, tax, and debt specialist.

HMRC disputes can be complex and a lawyer can help you understand all the relevant points and support you in presenting a strong case with the best chances of success. 

How long does an HMRC dispute take? 

The independent review process usually takes around three to six months to complete. If you do not agree with the outcome of the independent review, you then have another 30 days to notify the tax tribunal of your appeal. 

Should you take your case to the tax tribunal, many things may affect how long it takes to complete. Straightforward matters could take around six to 12 months, but it could take longer for more complex cases.

Get expert help with HMRC disputes

At Lawhive, our expert network of tax lawyers consists of licensed solicitors who specialise in various legal areas.

Whether you’re facing an HMRC dispute or need guidance on tax matters, we’re here to help quickly for affordable fixed fees. Our network of lawyers has extensive experience in HMRC disputes and can provide you with clear advice on your best options and the steps to take. 

Contact us today using our quick and easy online form to book a case evaluation with our Legal Assessment Specialists and get a free no-obligation quote personalised to your circumstances.

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