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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Dishonest tax agents: penalty for dishonest conduct: deciding the amount

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 amount of the penalty that we charge depends on

  • whether the tax agent makes a disclosure of the dishonest conduct, see CH184120+, and

    • the type of disclosure (unprompted or prompted), and
    • the quality of the disclosure (telling, helping and giving), and
  • the quality of the individual’s compliance with any file access notice that had been issued in relation to that dishonest conduct.

Operational guidance goes into more detail about how to decide the amount of the penalty, see CH883500+.

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