Tax Credits: Judicial Review

This section of the website gives some basic information about Judicial Review in tax credits cases.

Although there is no statutory right of appeal against HMRC’s exercise of their discretion to recover an overpayment, there is one judicial remedy – that of judicial review, exercisable by the High Court. Judicial Review is a form of court proceeding in which a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action by a public body.

One advantage of this method is that the initial threat of proceedings, or failing that an application for permission, can concentrate the mind of the defendant. Another advantage is that the procedure can be expedited so that it can work much faster than other remedies.

The drawback is that if the Department does not back down in the preliminary stages, going ahead with the procedure can be expensive for the claimant, even if funding can be obtained. It is also a specialist area where expert legal representation is required.

There is a useful introduction to judicial review guide on the website of the Public Law Project.

In addition, CPAG publish information for welfare rights advisers as part of their judicial review project. The information includes videos explaining the judicial review process and template letters that can be used.

Last reviewed/updated 28 April 2022