Three crucial bits of advice for tax appeal hearings
If your tax dispute has been pursued to the stage of a hearing, you can be confident that the fate of the overall outcome is very much in your hands, but not too confident. These scenarios rely solely on the evidence and documents available, so if you can support and provide evidence for every statement that you are making, then of course you are giving yourself the best chance possible of winning the appeal.
Ensuring everything is in place though is difficult. So the team at Financial Saviour have put together three crucial bits of advice to help you prepare for a tax appeal hearing.
Presenting your case
Tax disputes quite often feel like a long, drawn-out process, and by the time a tax appeal hearing approaches, you will have already undergone several reviews and appeals with limited success. It is all the more important, therefore,that you create a case for the hearing that is nothing less than perfect if you are to avoid falling at this hurdle.
Your case will be presented publicly, face-to-face with those holding the appeal against you, and you have the option of deciding whether to present the case yourself, or have a lawyer or tax adviser present on your behalf.
If called upon, either of the latter will have already gotten under the skin of your situation and helped you prepare for the hearing, but, if you’re worried about being phased by the situation, it may be for the best for them to take over. Through experience, they will know what sort of questions to expect, including some that may catch you off guard.
In the build up to a hearing, all relevant documentation to the case must be sent to HMRC, and you will receive a similar batch of documents in response which you then must take to the hearing. This can include anything from letters and invoices, to completed forms and accounts – if it’s relevant, you need it.
Always ensure at this stage that the right people have the right documents, so put time aside, sift through everything, and check with a lawyer or adviser is there is anything missing. It may be the case that one crucial document you failed to mention before could make all the difference this time.
For extra reassurance, make copies of all documents you send to HMRC, or retain the originals and send copies. Also keep a log book of what was sent and when it was sent, as well as what you received from HMRC and when.
If you are eligible for a witness at your tax appeal hearing, do not pass up this opportunity. Calling on the right witness to give evidence is hugely important in supporting your statements, documentation and overall case, particularly if this person knows the situation well.
Any witnesses must also of course be fully prepared, so any questioning should be thoroughly practised beforehand with yourself alongside a lawyer or tax adviser. This is even more important if the latter individual is presenting on your behalf as they can assess where and how the witness links to the case, as well as identifying the most important time to introduce them.
For any help or advice concerning tax disputes, appeals and hearings, get in touch with Financial Saviour. We are a friendly and experienced team of finance and tax advisers, tailoring our approach for every unique set of circumstances.