HMRC Enquiries EBT - Castlemaine and General Questions

Hi, at the beginning of February I received a letter from HMRC asking for unpaid taxes related to an EBT for the year 2008/9. I managed to get in touch with Castlemaine and I received a mail from Audacia letting me know that they will put in place an appeal.

They have put forward a group appeal for all the Castlemaine contractors on Thursday the 27th of February. However on the 28th HMRC sent me a letter stating that as I didn't pay they will now charge me interests. My payment deadline was the 3rd of March so they assumed that if I didn't reply by the 28th I was not ready to pay.

What I would like is a confirmation from HMRC that an Appeal has been logged for me. I don't know if anybody else is in the same situation but I would love to hear their side of the story.

Now my big question is the following one:
If HMRC takes 6 months to deal with the appeal, will I get 5% penalties for each month or do the penalties/interests stop at the date of the appeal?

I have performed a search on the HMRC website and here is what I have found:

Charges with interest accruing

Interest will still accrue on the postponed amount until the appeal is resolved and any unpaid tax is paid. An appeal may be resolved by being settled by agreement between you and HMRC or decided by the tribunal.

You can limit the interest accruing by paying the amount due.

If the decision is changed and HMRC owes you money then you will be repaid the difference with interest.

To me this looks like I have to pay the amount requested otherwise I will be charged penalties. If my appeal is successful I will get a refund otherwise they keep my money.