Maybe you’ve just received your first VAT visit. Maybe, your VAT visit is over and done with and now, you’ve been hit with an assessment.

Either way, the thought of a full-blown tax investigation might be looming in your mind. You’re worried and stressed and unsure how to proceed. Because what, exactly, is going to happen next?

Well, don’t fret. Because today, we’re going to cut straight to the chase and give you the answers you need.

We’re going to show you how to stand up and fight against HMRC.

And most importantly, we’re going to show you how to win.

But with all that said? If you’re concerned about an upcoming assessment or VAT visit, or you’ve already reached the tribunal stage and you’re unsure how to go ahead? Get in touch. We’ll give you peace of mind.

How to Dispute a VAT Assessment.

When HMRC conducts a VAT assessment on your business, we understand that it can be a pretty stressful time. And if you receive notice of an assessment following this visit? Well, it can feel like things are getting out of control.

But the important thing to remember?

When you’ve received notice of a VAT assessment, the law is impartial.

It’s not just on HMRC’s side.

So what does this mean?

It means that, following the notice of your assessment, it’s always best – and expected – that you should confirm the notice is correct and has been validly issued.

For example, sometimes, HMRC’s actions can be their own interpretation of the law, rather than the law itself.

And this means?

If you’re ever in doubt about an upcoming assessment?

The best thing you can do is ask for help. Get in touch. Because chances are? Most of HMRC’s notices are interpretations of the law – not the law itself.

And the good news? Well, statistically speaking, the proof is in the pudding: the number of successful appeals against HMRC’s notices just goes to show the value in challenging their interpretations.

So all this – in English?

If you’re facing an assessment or have just received notice from HMRC. Get in touch. Because chances are? We can help you quash that assessment once and for all. We can fight your corner.

But how does the Appeals process work against HMRC? 

If you’ve just had notice of an VAT assessment, knowing that appeals and disputes against such appeals are often successful can be a major boost if you’re worried about the future of your business.

But with that said, the idea of facing HMRC at a tribunal? In can be a very scary thought.

Ultimately, you’re dealing with a legal procedure, as well as potentially giving evidence in front of a tribunal. And if you’re thinking about going through this process, it’s well worth seeking professional help. We can put your case together.

Still, with that said, it’s worth knowing how the tribunal system actually works – whether you’re going it alone or seeking professional help.

Firstly, the tribunal system with HMRC works with two-tiers. The First-tier Tribunal deals with most appeals, whilst the larger and more complicated cases are considered by the Upper Tribunal.

An important point to remember, however: the Upper Tribunal also hears appeals on the decisions made in the First-tier Tribunal.

So if you’re not happy with the result of your tribunal? There’s always the chance of an appeal.

What’s more, even before the tribunal process takes place, businesses are entitled to request an internal review of HMRC’s decisions of appeal. This means you can ask for a new officer to review your case and offer a balanced and objective view, on any appealable tax decisions, before you reach the tribunal stage.

And if you don’t agree with the result? You can appeal that decision, too, ultimately taking it to a tribunal.

How long do I have to appeal?

If HMRC delivers you a notice of a VAT assessment, or any other appealable decision, you have 30 days to ask for a review, notifying them that you want the decision looked at it again.

Now, sometimes, this period can be extended. But it’s a safe bet to treat this time period seriously, taking action as soon as you can, backing up your request with supporting evidence as to why you think the decision needs to be reviewed.

And the good news? Whilst HMRC have 45 days to review the decision, you can still appeal to the tribunal once the review is carried out.

What’s more, even if you don’t want the decision reviewed, but still want to appeal your case? You can appeal to the tribunal, so long as you reply within 30 days of HMRC’s decision.

So what can I take away from this if I’m facing a VAT Assessment and want to review?

Ultimately, when it comes to decisions made by HMRC, the law is on your side as much as theirs. And whilst HMRC generally only make decisions against taxpayers when they think there is a fault at play, the amount of successful appeals is a testament to how often HMRC get it wrong.

What’s more, they’ll admit it, too. And you’ll get to carry on doing what you do best – running your business.

Still, with all that said? Whilst you can appeal the decision made against you and ask for a new officer to review your case? You still might have to appear at a tribunal.

You still might have to present a successful legal argument and evidence for you to win.

And that’s where we come in. Because if you’re facing a VAT assessment or want to appeal a decision made against you by HMRC?

Get in touch. We’ll fight your corner. We’ll give you peace of mind.

The Tax Haven.

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