9am Lowdown: New fees for tax tribunals announced

Practice correspondent
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New fees for tax tribunals announced

The government has announced some steep increases to fees for tax tribunals, despite strong resistance.

The new fees are as follows:

Current New
First-tier Tax Chamber
Appeals against Fixed Tax Penalties of £100 or less No Fee £20
Paper – Issue No Fee £50
Paper – Hearing No Fee No Fee
Basic – Issue No Fee £50
Basic – Hearing No Fee £200
Standard – Issue No Fee £200
Standard – Hearing No Fee £500
Complex – Issue No Fee £200
Complex – Hearing No Fee £1,000
Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery Current New
Permission to appeal – Issue No Fee £100
Permission to appeal – Hearing No Fee £200
Appeal – Issue No Fee £100
Appeal – Hearing No Fee £2,000

The government noted that the changes will be controversial, but argued that the fee increases are needed to fund the running of the tax chamber and upper tribunal.

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National living wage kicks in 1 April

From 1 April 2016 workers in the UK aged over 25 earning the minimum rate of £6.70 per hour must receive a 50p increase.

The wage increase will affect over a million workers in the UK. The government has also announced they will be launching an advertisement campaign around the national living wage.

Commenting on the increase, the Chancellor said, “The new National Living Wage is an essential part of building the higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax society that Britain needs and it’s great to see that over a million people will see their living standards boosted when this comes into force on 1st April”.

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Accountant’s side gig gets her arrested

An accountant who decided to venture into marijuana growing has been sentenced, reported the Blackpool Gazette.

Kelly Thompson kept a separate address from her husband because they were not getting on, and decided to enter the high growth industry of cannabis cultivation at the property.

She was fined £120 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £20 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates who ordered the destruction of the drugs and equipment.

Replies

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20th Jan 2016 09:17

Presumably, every won appeal against £100 penalty will result in costs being awarded to the taxpayer. I dare say that this may be reversed when they work out that it's costing them money.

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20th Jan 2016 09:46

Costs are not normally awarded in first tier tribunal cases

The taxpayer will not get back the tribunal fees, unless the case is deemed to be "complex", in which case a costs award may be made. The tribunal may also make a costs award in circumstances in which there was unreasonable conduct or wasted costs - but those circumstances are very unusual. A penalty case will normally be dealt with as a default paper case or a basic case.

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20th Jan 2016 09:59

Just a cash cow, then

I never knew that. Thanks for the clarification

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20th Jan 2016 10:57

Deterrent Effect

One positive benefit of the new charges will be to deter those taxpayers whose Appeals have virtually no chance of success.

Hopefully genuine Appellants will not be deterred.

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By hedleyg
22nd Jan 2016 15:13

And couldn't possibly backfire ... (tongue in cheek)

As I am not an accountant, but a retired IT person, the problems that you read about on this site lend you to sympathise with the highly skilled accountants, who are fighting technology and HMRC indifference, to simply perform the most basic of tasks.

If it is okay for HMRC to charge fees, then surely it is reasonable for the accountancy profession to charge fees to HMRC.

The letters to HMRC should read ...

We have noticed errors in the data that you hold for our client(x). This differs from the data previously sent by us on behalf of our client. As the processing time to correct this data will take approximately x hours, we envisage charging a fee to HMRC of £y + VAT. Please indicate that you are prepared to pay this fee so that the data may be corrected.

Pretty hard now for HMRC in the tribunals, if they have been informed of errors and failed to take action by themselves or otherwise to have them corrected.

Anyway, if fees are now the norm, why not pay a fee and use the Small Claims Court to recover overcharged tax and unreasonable penalties.

Common Law here we come.

 

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23rd Jan 2016 18:46

Is this fool serious?

Commenting on the increase, the Chancellor said, “The new National Living Wage is an essential part of building the higher wage, lower welfare, lower tax society that Britain needs and it’s great to see that over a million people will see their living standards boosted when this comes into force on 1st April”.

Let's imagine a low-unskilled worker puts in 45 hours per week.

This massive rise will net £22.50 increase per week.

Wow!

£324/week... However:

Weekly Gross £324

NIC  £20.28

TAX  £24.03

 Pe-Increase   Net £279.69

Post-Increase Net £264.39

Increase net: £15.30

Equals: 4.62 extra pints of beer. (Source UK Average Good Pub Guide/Camra)

2.71 extra kilos of standard grade mince.

That's certainly going to be living high on the hog, then.

 

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23rd Jan 2016 19:04

@ Michael - well if someone (chancellor or not) offered me nearly £1,200 gross per annum for doing absolutely no more than I do at present then I would certainly be grateful and it would make a difference to me and my family, and I'm lucky to be earning a very good wage.

It's a 7.5% pay rise at a time when people are still tightening their belts. I'd suggest that the Chancellor has actually been generous on this occasion. How many extra pints a week exactly were you hoping for?

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23rd Jan 2016 19:19

What would I like to see?

Sheepy306 wrote:
@ Michael - well if someone (chancellor or not) offered me nearly £1,200 gross per annum for doing absolutely no more than I do at present then I would certainly be grateful and it would make a difference to me and my family, and I'm lucky to be earning a very good wage. It's a 7.5% pay rise at a time when people are still tightening their belts. I'd suggest that the Chancellor has actually been generous on this occasion. How many extra pints a week exactly were you hoping for?

I would like to see a real Living Wage, which unmasked the ludicrous reality of those struggling to survive, being automatically benefit-dependent.

Which translates to your "very good wage" suffering excess tax to pay for housing benefit, child tax credt etc.

Personally and since I have worked for myself most of my working life, no kind uncle has subsidised MY staff and overheads, ever!

If any business cannot afford to pay a living wage then it is not a business: it's a sort of QUANGO or NGO.

In other words, it is part of the national socio-economic charade, we suffer from today.

 

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25th Jan 2016 09:46

Generous?

Sheepy306 wrote:
I'd suggest that the Chancellor has actually been generous on this occasion. How many extra pints a week exactly were you hoping for?

How has the Chancellor been generous? It's not coming out of his pocket or Government coffers.

It's easy to be generous with other people's money.

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