Clauses 55 to 60 allow parents who are unhappy with HMRC’s decision under the scheme access to a normal, modern system of reviews and appeals. There is a mandatory first step of an HMRC review, after which parents can appeal to the normal first-tier tribunal.
Clause 55 lists which HMRC decisions can be appealed against. That will allow parents to challenge any decision that denies them access to the scheme, denies them top-up, asks them to repay top-up or imposes a penalty. It also states that no appeal is possible before a review has been done.
Clause 56 sets out the details of how reviews must be carried out and requires HMRC to give proper notice of the result of the review. Clause 57 allows HMRC to consider reviews late when there is good reason for the delay. Clause 58 gives parents access to the normal first-tier tribunals in Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the review is complete. Clause 59 outlines how the tribunal can use its jurisdiction when hearing appeals under the scheme. Finally, clause 60 sets out special rules for cases of dispute over who should have access to a child care account for a child. The Committee will recall that such cases were addressed when we discussed clause 18. The tribunal is required to make a clear decision that gives parents certainty.
Government amendments 24 to 26 make minor changes to the list of appealable matters in clause 55 and require HMRC to inform parents of their appeal rights. Government amendments 27 and 28 change clause 58 to make it clear that such appeals are made directly to the appropriate tribunal.
This amendment corrects a minor drafting error.
Amendment 26, in clause 55, page 36, line 44, at end insert—
“( ) Where a person is notified of an appealable decision under this Act, the notification must include details of the person’s right to apply for a review of the decision and to appeal against the decision.”—(Priti Patel.)