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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Discrepancy Enquiries: Penalty Cases: Award adjusted using claimant's information

If the claimant disputes the information held by HMRC and you decide to accept the claimant’s new information you must firstly calculate the revised tax credits at risk. You must then decide if a penalty is due based on the adjusted details - see CCM17215.

  • If a penalty is no longer appropriate close the case as shown at CCM17500.
  • If a penalty may still be appropriate consult your Band O manager. Your manager will decide whether we will charge a penalty.

The Band O manager will need to consider the type of discrepancy and the claimant’s behaviour which led to the incorrect claim - see CCM10710. In deciding the behaviour category of the penalty the Band O manager will need to take into account any explanation the claimant has given regarding the error. If there is not enough information to decide on the category or your manager cannot be certain there is at least neglect, either your manager or another Band O will need to contact the claimant to discuss why they made the error in their claim.

If your manager decides there is no fraud or neglect there will be no penalty. You (the Compliance Officer) must close the case as shown in CCM17500.

If your manager decides to charge a penalty the papers should be referred to a Band O caseworker to continue to work the case.

Action by Band O caseworker

Your first action is to revise the award.

If you are working an income discrepancy enquiry and the PY-1 income was also queried you will also need to revise the PY-1 award.

If you are working an income discrepancy enquiry and the CY estimate was also queried you will also need to revise the CY award.

You will then calculate the penalty. CCM chapter 10 gives detailed guidance on how to calculate the penalty. Once you have calculated the amount you should show the amount of the penalty on form 94NTC

You must write to the claimant(s) to let them know about your decision. You should always write to them even if you have spoken to them and explained the position on the phone.

You must use the standard letter template TCC61. The letter explains that you will be amending their award for that year and they will soon receive a formal notification of their revised award. It also tells them we will be charging a penalty.

If the claimant has authorised an agent to act for them remember to send a copy of the letter to the agent.

Once you have issued the letter you must then amend the award.

Then BF your papers for 30 days to allow for an appeal

If the claimant appeals, see CCM17950