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Part 8: Transaction Reports and Integrity Checks

With the introduction of Appeals Direct in England this section mainly applies to Wales. Section 3 England provides information on appeals to the VTE.

VO letters and forms which are not included as appendices are available as MS Word Templates

8.1 Overview

Integrity Checks are a useful way of ensuring that the status of appeal data held on the VOA computer system is consistent with that held on the VT system, and vice versa.

There are occasions when appeal data transmitted to VT fails to load correctly or is rejected by a VT Admin Unit because it does not fulfil validations built into their computer system. The majority of these rejections are accounted for by the transaction reports which are produced by the VT Admin Units and passed to LOs for investigation and any necessary action.

Similarly the settlement of appeals by VTs, which are notified to LOs in hardcopy, may go astray. As a consequence, such appeals, which are cleared on the VT system, remain outstanding on the VOA's.

Failure by either organisation to take prompt action upon the transaction reports and upon the exception reports obtained from Integrity Checks could result in taxpayers being disadvantaged as a result of either the VT rejecting appeal data or the LO not acting upon a settlement following notification from the VT Admin Unit.

8.2 Transaction Reports

Transaction reports will be sent by VT Admin Units in the following circumstances :-

  • when case details as transmitted are rejected by the VT system ;
  • when exceptional changes have taken place, e.g. a change of appellant ;
  • when an appeal has already been cleared from the VT system as a result of direct notification from the appellant, but the LO settlement of the appeal has not taken place.

Following receipt of a transaction report, the relevant case papers should be obtained and checked to establish the current status of the case(s), having regard to the 'reason for rejection'.

8.3 Dealing with Transaction Reports

Where it is clear from the case papers that an appeal has been settled, i.e. withdrawn, agreed or decided by the VT (and confirmation of the decision has been received from the VT), the appeal should be cleared on the VOA system as quickly as possible.

A withdrawal or agreement will be included in the next VT transmission, and this will then trigger an automatic entry on the next transaction report. No further action on these settlements need be taken.

Where it appears from the case papers that an appeal is still outstanding, the VT Admin Unit should be telephoned and the reason for the discrepancy investigated. Possible scenarios are:-

  • the appeal was not received by the VT (shown as 'appeal not present') ;
  • The appeal was settled by the VT following a hearing or as a result of an agreement or withdrawal being received direct by the VT from the appellant. If this is recent, the LO may still be waiting for hardcopy documentation (shown as 'appeal has been decided' or 'appeal closed') ;
  • A duplicate case file exists.

Where it is established that the appeal is missing (either it has not been received or it has been previously rejected by the VT system), it must be sent again. This has to be carried out by a Local System Administrator (LSA) who will have the necessary permission levels.

Where it is established that the appeal has been settled by a VT hearing or by other documentation received direct by the VT AND the LO has not received a copy, this should be requested.

Any other rejection which cannot be accounted for should be referred to the VOA IT Help Desk.

8.4 Generating Integrity Checks

Integrity check generations are always carried out during the early hours of the Thursdays shown on the VOA's Calendar of Overnight Generations at the same time as Rating integrity checks. These will usually be the third Thursdays in April, July, October and January of each year. BA’s for CT are currently owned by the relevant NDR unit and separate files are generated for each NDR/CT Unit/VT Admin Unit combination. The files are transmitted directly to the VT system and loaded onto their database.

Following the loading, an exception report in two parts will be produced by the VT which will identify those appeals where there is a mismatch between the two databases. This will be forwarded to the NDR/CT Unit Office. An exception report will show.

appeals outstanding with the VOA but cleared or not received by the VT ;

appeals outstanding with the VT but cleared by the VOA

CT Units should distribute exception reports as appropriate depending upon the way the Unit is organised.

If a CT Unit has not received a hardcopy exception report from a VT Admin Unit within 10 working days of the generation date shown in the calendar, the appropriate Admin Unit should be contacted and suitable arrangements made.

8.5 Dealing with Exception Reports

Where an appeal is shown on an exception report, the relevant case papers should be obtained and checked to establish the current status of the case, and action taken in accordance with paragraphs 8.6 or 8.7 below.

Failure to take action on any entry appearing on an exception report will result in the same entry appearing on the next report in three months' time. It is therefore important that early action is taken.

8.6 Where Appeals are Shown as Outstanding with the VOA but not with the VT/VTE – this applies to both England and Wales

Where it is clear from the case papers that an appeal has been settled, i.e. withdrawn, agreed, decided by the VT and confirmation has been received from the VT Admin Unit, that appeal should be cleared on the VOA system as quickly as possible. A withdrawal or agreement will be included in the next VT transmission, and this will then trigger an automatic entry on the next transmission report. No further action in such circumstances need be taken.

Where it appears from the case papers that an appeal is still outstanding, the VT/VTE should be telephoned and the reason for the discrepancy investigated. Possible scenarios are :-

  • the appeal was not received by the Valuation Tribunal Office (appeal status shown as 'missing') ;
  • the appeal was settled by the VTO following a hearing. If this is recent, the LO may still be waiting for hardcopy documentation (appeal status shown on Report as 'decided') ;
  • a duplicate case file exists.

Where it is established that an appeal is missing (either it has not been received or it has been previously rejected by the VTO system), it must be sent again. This has to be carried out by a Local System Administrator (LSA). The appeal will then be available for listing.

Where it is established that an appeal has been settled by a VT/VTE hearing or by agreement or withdrawal received direct by the VTO AND the LO has not received a copy, this should be requested.

8.7 Where Appeals are Shown as Outstanding with the VT/VTE but not with the VOA

Where it is clear from the case papers that an appeal has been settled, i.e. withdrawn, agreed, decided by the VT/VTE (and confirmation of the decision received from the VT/VTE), the VT/VTE should be contacted to ascertain if the appeal has been reopened for further consideration. Where it is confirmed that this is not so, the VT/VTE should be asked to clear the appeal on their system. If required a hardcopy of the withdrawal, agreement or decision should be sent to the VT/VTE Admin Unit as confirmation.

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