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HMRC internal manual

Claimant Compliance Manual

Closing the Examination: Penalty Cases - Informing the Customer(s)

Once you have established all of the facts relevant to the period covered by your examination, you should advise the customer you will be issuing a formal decision notice.

How you advise the customer will depend on the circumstances of the case. It might be during a meeting, in which case your notes will reflect what you told them or you might explain this in a letter. You will need to cover the following:

a.  The decision

For a pre-award examination this will mean the issue of an initial decision notice and for a post-award examination it will be an amended decision notice to either amend or terminate the award. For an examination into an unprocessed notification of a change of circumstances this will be to amend the award or confirm it stays in the original amount. Where there has been an enquiry for an earlier year or you intend to make a discovery decision you should explain a decision notice will also be issued for that year(s). You should tell the customer they will have a right of appeal against the formal decision.

b.  The settlement

You should tell the customer that you will notify them if a penalty is to be charged. In some situations there will also be an overpayment which will need to be repaid and they will be notified of the details on the decision notice. The notice will state the date(s) on which the monies will be paid.

Once you have advised the customer of the position you should revise the award as shown in CCM8380.