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HMRC internal manual

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme

HM Revenue & Customs
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Special reduction: introduction

Note: Special reduction only applies to AWRS behavioural penalties. Is it not available for regulatory penalties

Before you consider special reduction

You only consider special reduction after you have fully considered all matters within the penalty law that can affect:

  • whether there is liability to a penalty at all, and
  • the amount of the penalty.

The questions below provide examples of matters that you should already have taken into account. You may wish to look at these again before considering special reduction.

The legislation covers all the matters below in relation to whether a penalty is due and, if so, how much that penalty will be. A special reduction is a separate matter and can only be made where there are special circumstances. We discuss special circumstances in AWRS110500.

Is there a reasonable excuse for a contravention?

If the person has a reasonable excuse for a non-deliberate contravention and remedies that contravention without unreasonable delay after the excuse ceases to exist, there can be no liability to a penalty. Therefore there is no special reduction to consider.

Reasonable excuse is discussed at AWRS110500.

Is the disclosure unprompted or prompted?

If you had decided that the disclosure was prompted but the person then produces evidence that they had made an unprompted disclosure at some stage before you raised the matter with them, this will affect the amount of the minimum penalty.

Has appropriate reduction for disclosure already been given?

Where there has been a failure and you have established liability to a penalty, where applicable, you will have calculated the reduction for disclosure in order to arrive at the appropriate penalty level. You should only consider whether any special reduction is appropriate if you are content the appropriate reduction for quality of disclosure has been given. If you are not content that the appropriate reduction for quality of disclosure has been given, you should look at this again before you consider special reduction.