HMRC – mandatory consideration before appeal

Published on 2 October 2012

In May 2012, we responded to a DWP consultation setting out plans to implement Section 102 Welfare Reform Act, which allows DWP and HMRC to introduce a mandatory reconsideration process before a person can exercise their right of appeal. That consultation covered DWP benefits as well as Child Benefit and Guardian’s Allowance administered by HMRC. This latest consultation document, run by HMRC, considers the same proposal for tax credits.

We are concerned about the suggested proposal in respect of tax credits. Although we agree that better use could be made of the reconsideration process, we do not think mandation is necessary to achieve this. Adding a mandatory step before people can exercise their right of appeal is not in the best interests of claimants and leaves some of the most vulnerable claimants open to more delays and additional bureaucracy when attempting to challenge a decision. In particular, we are concerned that if the proposals go ahead without any statutory time limit for the revision stage, HMRC can stop people accessing their right of appeal and an independent review of their case if they delay dealing with the reconsideration or refuse to accept the reconsideration request.

Our response sets out our full range of concerns and can be found at the following link.

(02-10-2012)

Contact: Victoria Todd (please use form at http://www.litrg.org.uk/ContactUs)