More than half of taxpayer appeals successful

More than half of taxpayer challenges to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are successful, figures reveal.

Figures from the 2015/16 tax year have shown that over half of tax appeals had been accepted, up slightly from the previous year.

HMRC allows taxpayers to appeal decisions made by the tax authority. These reviews are then conducted by independent teams, separate from those who handled the original case.

The figures show that HMRC’s initial judgement was varied or cancelled by reviewers in 57 per cent of appeals in the year to 31 March 2016.

Of those cases, amends were made in:

  • 31 per cent of non-penalty reviews (33 per cent last year)
  • 65 per cent of VAT penalty reviews (65 per cent last year)
  • 52 per cent of all other penalty reviews (39 per cent last year)

The number of appeals made by taxpayers also rose, with 5,161 formal applications received.

Experts have suggested that mistakes or “over-reaches” by the tax authority were “more common” than one might assume.