First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) hears appeals against certain decisions made by the Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer is an independent office holder appointed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) although he operates independently from the rest of IPSA. IPSA is responsible is responsible for determining and paying MP Expenses.
Appeals can be made by current Members of Parliament (MPs) or former MPs and will be made to the the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009.
MPs have a right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) in relation to decisions made by the Compliance Officer, in the following circumstances:
- An MP may ask the Compliance Officer to review a determination by IPSA either to refuse an expenses claim or to pay only part of a claim. The Compliance Officer must decide whether or not to confirm IPSA's determination or to alter it. The MP may appeal the Compliance Officer's decision to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) (section 6A (6)-(11) of the 2009 Act).
- Under section 9 of the 2009 Act, the Compliance Officer may conduct an investigation if he or she has reason to believe that an MP has been paid an amount under the expenses scheme that should not have been paid. If the Compliance Officer concludes that there has been an overpayment and that the sum involved has not been voluntarily repaid, the Compliance Officer may issue a repayment direction to the MP concerned. The MP may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) against the Compliance Officer's findings, the decision to issue a repayment direction, the amount to be repaid as specified in the repayment direction and/or any requirement to pay interest on the overpayment or to pay costs (paragraph 3 of Schedule 4 to the 2009 Act).
- An MP may ask the Compliance Officer to extend the repayment period specified in a repayment direction. The MP may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) against the Compliance Officer's decision (paragraph 4(4)-(9) of Schedule 4 to the 2009 Act).
- The Compliance Officer may issue a penalty notice to an MP as part of his or her investigation into a suspected overpayment of expenses. The MP may appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) against the imposition of a penalty notice (paragraph 11 of Schedule 4 to the 2009 Act).
In each case, an appeal must be brought within 28 days of the decision, subject to the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) giving permission for a late appeal, and will be by way of a rehearing.
Appeals in MP expenses cases will be made to the Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal. The Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal was established on 1 April 2009.
The First–tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) (MP Expenses) jurisdiction is independent of the Compliance Office and the Independent Parliamentary Services Authority. The onward appeal from the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber) is to the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery).
Appeals are heard by panels that are constituted according to the needs of the case, and may be heard by legally qualified Judges, non-legally qualified expert Members or a mix of the two. The jurisdiction is UK-wide, and hearings are held inTribunal Service venues across the United Kingdom.
Judge Colin Bishopp is President of the Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal. For more information please visit First–tier Tribunal (Tax) Judges and Members page.
What you can expect from us
When dealing with a matter before the First-tier Tribunal (Tax Chamber), we will;
- deal with correspondence within five working days of receiving it;
- register new appeals within 10 working days of receiving them;
- send decisions to parties of the appeal within five working days of signature by the Judge. The Judge will sign (but not date) the decision once it has been agreed. This can typically be about one or two months after the last day of hearing. The decision will bear the date that it is formally released to the parties of the appeal; and
- send decisions to public subscribers (individuals, or organisations, who are not directly associated with the appeal and have requested a copy of the decision) within 10 working days of informing the parties of the outcome of the appeal.