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HMRC internal manual

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme

Special reduction: what is a special reduction?

HMRC has the discretion to make a special reduction for certain penalties, and there is extensive guidance on this in the Compliance Handbook. This guidance applies equally to the AWRS penalties. Some of the key sections in the Compliance Handbook have been reproduced here but there is further information in the CH.

A special reduction of a penalty includes:

  • staying a penalty, and
  • agreeing a compromise in relation to proceedings for a penalty.

Staying a penalty means stopping or postponing enforcement of a penalty. Agreeing a compromise allows us to forego all or part of a penalty.

You do not enter into discussions regarding the amount of any special reduction. If it is right to reduce a penalty because of special circumstances, Process Design & Excellence, Tax Administration, Litigation and Advice (TALA) will calculate the level of the reduction.