Share this content

£20 fee to challenge a £100 HMRC penalty at First Tier Tribunal

£20 fee to challenge a £100 HMRC penalty at...

The government is going ahead with its plans for a 10 per cent increase in court and tribunal fees, first announced in a consultation paper last July. The plan introduces fees for appeals to both the First- tier and the Upper tax Tribunals, including a GBP20 fee for appealing against a GBP100 penalty imposed by HM Revenue and Customs.  (Information reported by STEP)

I suppose that not many people appeal to the First Tier Tribunal against a £100 but this charge is outrageous given the number of erroneous penalties that are levied.


Please login or register to join the discussion.

05th Jan 2016 16:39


Very poor. There is some fine Orwellian double think in the Conclusions at Paras 77 and 79, viz


77. The Government has considered all of the responses to the consultation very carefully. The Lord Chancellor has a duty when setting court fees to have regard to the principle that access to the courts must not be denied. In order to protect access to justice, it is vital that HMCTS continues to be funded properly. Income raised through fees payable by users will necessarily play a significant role in the funding of the system if we are to ease the burden on the taxpayer and bring down the deficit.

79. Overall, we do not believe that these fee increases will prevent people from bringing proceedings. We recognise however, that the increases may make some litigants reconsider whether they wish to pursue litigation in light of the cost and the prospects of success, including the likelihood of recovering a judgement against the respondent. 

As you note the problem would largely disappear if there was human intervention, and if common sense were applied before penalties notices were churned out automatically- but to hope that might ever happen would be wishful thinking.  


Thanks (0)
By Ruddles
05th Jan 2016 16:45


If the penalties are erroneous there should be no need to go anywhere near FTT.

Thanks (0)
05th Jan 2016 17:22

In an ideal world

I agree Ruddles that in an ideal world that would be the case but I also note that in Annexe 5 of his 2014-2015 report the Tax Assurance Commissioner Edward Throup states that there were 27,668 appeals against penalties in the year he is reporting on ( 32,238 in 2013/2014). Of those 16,789 were appeals against VAT penalties (of which 34.7% were upheld in HMRC's favour following internal review); and 10,879 "other penalty cases" (of which 60% were upheld in HMRC's favour following internal review).

That still leaves 5,834 VAT cases and 6,530 non VAT cases where those appealing thought they had a case, and where HMRC following an internal review thought there were no grounds for appeal. The only place those 12,364 cases can go to take the argument further is to the tribunal. Most I imagine would be dealt with as paper cases, but as far as I am aware they would still attract a fee under the new proposals.

I thought I had a report of the number of penalty cases that have reached tribunal, with a note of the percentage decided for and against HMRC, but I cannot put my hands on it at present. 


Thanks (0)
05th Jan 2016 17:09

I suspect

that many of the penalties referred to FTT are litigants in person, some of whom may have a bee in their bonnet but have absolutely no grounds for a valid appeal. 

Thanks (0)
05th Jan 2016 17:32

Stephen Finch ?

On the other hand there are litigants in person who have a good case as reported on Aweb before Xmas !

Thanks (0)
Share this content