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HMRC internal manual

Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme

Special reduction: what are special circumstances?

We can only make a special reduction where there are special circumstances. You must not give a special reduction without authority from TALA to do so. This includes AWRS penalties as well.

Penalty legislation provides for common circumstances and these are therefore taken into account in establishing the liability to and/or level of a penalty.

Special circumstances are either:

  • uncommon or exceptional, or
  • where the strict application of the penalty law produces a result that is contrary to the clear compliance intention of that penalty law.

To be special circumstances, the circumstances in question must apply to the particular individual and not be general circumstances that apply to many wholesalers by virtue of the penalty legislation.