View more on these topics

Lawyers slam Govt plans to charge for tax appeals

Lawyers and accountants have attacked Government plans to charge individuals who appeal decisions made by HM Revenue & Customs.

The Law Society warns the proposals to cut costs in the judicial system both undermine access to independent rulings and make the tax office too powerful, the Financial Times reports.

A Ministry of Justice consultation suggests introducing fees of between £50 and £200 for referring cases to the first-tier tax tribunal.

There would be a £200 to £1,000 charge for hearings – depending on complexity – while going to the Upper Tribunal would cost £100 initially and up to £2,000 for a hearing.

Law Society president Jonathan Smithers says: “The Government is effectively selling justice by saying that you need to pay for the courts.”

He warns: “To fight charges levied by one branch of government, you would have to pay another division of government … [this] leads to a feeling there’s a fairly heavy-handed state.”

Currently taxpayers have a right to apply for free to use the first-tier tribunal to challenge HMRC rulings.

Fees relating to divorce cases are also set to rise in the cost cutting drive. Charges to issue divorce proceedings will rise from £410 to £550, and the cost of filing possession claims in the county court will increase from £280 to £355.

The Ministry of Justice says court fees can be waived for people who cannot afford to pay.

It adds: “It is right that those using this service should make a contribution.

“We recognise that fees are never popular but at every stage we have sought to protect the most vulnerable. The modest fees proposed in the consultation paper mean charges will remain well below what it actually costs to run the property and tax tribunals.”



Banks hit back over ‘absurd’ EU bonus rules

Banks have warned European rules on bankers’ bonuses are being applied too strictly which will hurt them when it comes to recruiting. The Financial Times reports banks are concerned about a recent legal analysis on EU rules on bankers’ pay which says rules must be applied across the sector. Currently, national regulators can exercise discretion […]


Coulson takes over Pink sales and recruitment

First Complete business development director Richard Coulson has taken charge of sales and recruitment at Pink Network following Mark Graves’ departure. Coulson will remain in charge of the same areas for First Complete while the individual brands will be unchanged and continue to have their own regional director teams. Earlier this year, Toni Smith’s role was […]

Andrew Tyrie Tory conf 2013.jpg

Tyrie demands MPC code of conduct overhaul

Treasury select committee chairman Andrew Tyrie has written to the Bank of England to demand a review of its code of conduct for monetary policy committee members. In a letter to Bank governor Mark Carney today, Tyrie says the appointment of Gertjan Vlieghe to the committee suggested the need for an overhaul. Vlieghe was appointed […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up