Extra-statutory Concession A19 review – LITRG response
We welcome the opportunity to respond to the consultation document 'Extra-statutory Concession A19 review'.
Extra-statutory concession A19 (ESC A19) performs a very important function, serving to provide fairness to taxpayers when HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have made a mistake. In particular, it is often the unrepresented taxpayer who is affected by the problems which lead to claims under ESC A19. Any review of the concession must take this fact into account.
We raise at the outset the question of whether the concession needs to be revised in the manner proposed. The revised text will make significant changes to the concession and the circumstances in which it will apply. Our response strongly reflects the fact that we do not believe there should be changes to when ESC A19 should apply; rather there should be improvements in its operation.
In order to follow ‘Your Charter’, HMRC should publicise ESC A19 much more widely, as those unrepresented taxpayers to whom it is often relevant are in many cases unaware of the concession’s existence.
We believe strongly that the exceptional circumstances test should be retained, and should be interpreted correctly, according to the current wording of ESC A19.