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Back to basics: Costs in the tribunal

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The costs of litigation is an important consideration to be taken into account when deciding whether to pursue an appeal before the tribunals and the upper courts. Costs in the tribunal are governed by the tribunal rules in SI 2009/273. The tribunal regime provides for four categories: ‘default paper’; ‘basic’; ‘standard’; and ‘complex’. Once a case is allocated as a complex case, the FTT is empowered to award costs. It can make an order for costs, unless the taxpayer has opted out of the costs-shifting regime. Whether or not to opt out of the costs-shifting regime is a decision that is made at an early stage and is, therefore, a crucial one.

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