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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Dishonest tax agents: penalty for dishonest conduct: overview

A tax agent who engages in dishonest conduct, see CH181120, and who has been issued with a conduct notice, see CH182100+, is liable to a penalty. The minimum penalty for dishonest conduct is £5,000 and the maximum penalty is £50,000.

The penalty for dishonest conduct is different from the penalty for failing to comply with a file access notice, see CH183300+.

When deciding the appropriate amount of penalty for dishonest conduct, you must consider

  • whether the tax agent disclosed the dishonest conduct, see CH184120+,
  • whether that disclosure was prompted or unprompted, see CH184160,
  • the quality of that disclosure, see CH184240, and
  • the quality of the individual’s compliance with any file access notice that was issued in relation to that dishonest conduct.

The tax agent can appeal against the amount of penalty for dishonest conduct, see CH185280 and in certain situations we may publish the details of the dishonest conduct, see CH186000+.

In special circumstances, and where the penalty would otherwise be £5,000, we may be able to agree to a special reduction, see CH184500.