Tax Credits - Late Appeals

Last updated: February 22, 2017

VK v HMRC CTC/5461/2014 (Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber))

Update 27/07/2016: in a judgment dated 11/07/2016, the Upper Tribunal has decided that tax credit claimants have always been able to make a late appeal against decisions made by HMRC. For more information and a link to the decision see the news item CPAG wins test case on tax credit appeals.

This appeal concerns the powers of the Tribunal and HMRC to extend the time limit for bringing a tax credits appeal.

In JI v HMRC [2013] UKUT 199 (AAC) the Upper Tribunal found that, as an unintended consequence of changes in legislation, there was no longer a power to extend the time limit beyond the statutory 30 day time limit.

The legislation has since been amended to allow for late appeals, but this does not cover appeals made before April 2013 and for appeals made between April 2013 and April 2014 there is only a power for the HMRC to extend the time limit in "special circumstances".  As a result, many appeals made before April 2014 are being struck out by the Tribunal.

In this appeal, we argue that (i) JI v HMRC was wrongly decided and (ii) the strict statutory time limit should be extended in order to avoid a breach of Article 6 of the European Convention.

See also CPAG’s article in the Welfare Rights Bulletin Issue 234 (June 2013): "Better Late Than Never".