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Social Security Contributions (Transfer of Functions, etc.) Act 1999

Schedule 7: Decision making and appeals

Taxes Management Act 1970 (TMA)

193.Paragraphs 1 to 3 amend the TMA to give the tax appeal Commissioners jurisdiction over appeals against decisions under Part II of this Act.

Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 (CBA)

194.Paragraphs 4 to 8 amend CBA to include this Act's appeal procedures in the legislation which may be modified for special cases - for example, the contributions treatment of servicemen, mariners and those living abroad.

195.Paragraphs 9 and 10 amend CBA to provide that interest and penalties shall not run where a decision affecting the interest or penalty liability has yet to be made.

196.Paragraph 11 amends paragraph 8 of Schedule 2 so that Part V TMA can apply in relation to decisions about certain categories of Class 4 contributions.

Social Security Administration Act 1992 (SSAA 1992)

197.Paragraphs 12 and 14 make consequential amendments to sections 117 and 166 SSAA 1992 to reflect the new arrangements for appeals.

198.Paragraphs 13, 15 and 16 amend the SSAA 1992 to do three things. First, paragraph 13 introduces a new section 117A. This parallels the present section 117. Section 117 provides that decisions by DSS shall be treated as final for court proceedings, for example for enforcement of contributions debts. The new section 117A similarly provides for finality in such court proceedings of decisions taken by the Inland Revenue on transferred matters. Where a decision relevant to those proceedings has yet to be taken, the matter will be referred to an officer of the Inland Revenue for a decision. Where an appeal is outstanding against a decision, the court proceedings will be stayed until the appeal has been resolved. Second, paragraph 15 provides that this Act’s appeals legislation may be modified by bilateral contributions and benefits treaties with other countries. Third, paragraph 16 provides for payment of travelling expenses to people required to attend an interview, including one in connection with an appeal. This provision parallels DSS's ability to pay expenses under section 180 SSAA 1992.

Pensions Schemes Act 1993 (PSA)

199.Paragraphs 18 and 19 amend the PSA to provide for decisions to be made by the Inland Revenue rather than by DSS; and provide for a pensions equivalent to the new section 117A SSAA 1992 material on court proceedings.

200.Specifically, paragraph 18(2) removes section 167(3) of the PSA which confers powers to make regulations in connection with the decision making process. This will be unnecessary once Section 170 of the PSA as amended by section 16(2) of the Act is in force.

201.Paragraph 20 inserts new section 171A into the Pension Schemes Act to require the Inland Revenue to produce a report setting out the standards achieved by their officers in the making of decisions on contracted-out matters against which a right of appeal lies to a DSS unified appeal tribunal. Subsection (2) allows the report to be included in an annual report prepared by the Inland Revenue or annexed to the equivalent report produced by the Secretary of State under section 81 PSA. Subsection (3) requires that the report is laid before Parliament.

Employment Rights Act 1996

202.Paragraph 21 amends section 215 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 to provide for appeals about overseas employment issues to go down the tax appeal route.

Social Security Act 1998

203.Paragraph 22 makes it clear that decisions on transferred matters can only go down the tax appeal route (apart from pensions matters).

204.Paragraph 23 repeals a reference to DSS variations of decisions on directors' liability, since those decisions pass to the Inland Revenue.

205.Paragraph 24 provides a power for DSS to refer contributions issues to the Inland Revenue for resolution. This may involve an initial opinion or a formal appealable decision. And DSS may continue to process other issues while the contributions issue is being resolved.

206.Paragraph 25 revises section 12(2) SSA to reflect the transfer of SSP and SMP appeals to the tax appeal Commissioners.

207.Paragraph 28 repeals references to procedural issues connected to matters transferred to the tax appeal Commissioners by this Act.

208.Paragraphs 30 and 31 remove the current ability of DSS or an appeal tribunal to require SSP or SMP claimants to undergo a medical examination.

209.Paragraph 33 provides powers for benefit appeal tribunals to refer to the Inland Revenue contributions issues relevant to determining a benefit appeal. Where this happens, DSS may be required to revise their earlier decision.

210.Paragraph 34 makes clear that the rules governing the correction of benefit decisions made in error do not include decisions in respect of transferred functions.

211.Paragraph 35 clarifies the references to "Commissioners", drawing a distinction between the tax appeal Commissioners and Social Security Commissioners.

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