The UK government has announced plans to make it easier for contractors to challenge their tax bill. The introduction of a new digital online tax bill appeal service will allow quicker and speedier decisions.

As part of its aim to digitise the court service, the HM Courts & Tribunals Service is introducing the online service to help make the appeal process ‘quicker, simpler, and easier to access for everyone.’

Anything to speed up the tax process will be welcomed by contractors. Everyone has the expectation that their tax bill is both fair and accurate first time around. So speeding up the process of amending any problems will certainly be of benefit.

The system means that taxpayers don’t have to print out and manually fill out forms. Not only that, but any inaccuracies or areas that require more information can be sorted out over the phone. A worker for the HM Courts & Tribunals Service will be readily available to take calls and sort out any difficulties faced.

Online tax bill appeal

Appeals are submitted to a tax tribunal service. Each case can then be considered by a judge, and if required, a hearing can take place.

The HM Courts & Tribunals Service has taken steps to simplify the online forms and make it clear what steps applicants must have already taken before submitting. In addition, the time taken to reach a decision has been significantly reduced.

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More than 2,000 taxpayers have already used the system. HM Courts & Tribunals Service have rather interestingly reporting a drastic reduction in the number of applications being returned.

“We're spending £1billion on transforming the justice system so it's fit for the digital age,” said Justice Minister Lucy Frazer. “Allowing people to submit their tax appeals online is just one example of how we are making the system quicker, smarter, and much more user-friendly.”

Whilst many will think an appeal will be fruitless, the opposite is actually true.  Taxpayers were successful in more than half of the cases against HMRC in 2015-16. Remember, being aware of your available options is a crucial factor in being a successful contractor.