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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Dishonest tax agents: penalty for dishonest conduct: disclosure: unprompted or prompted

A disclosure is unprompted if, when the person made it, they had no reason to believe that we had discovered or were about to discover the dishonest conduct.

Otherwise it is a prompted disclosure.

Whether a disclosure is unprompted or prompted is an objective test. The particular facts and circumstances which led to the disclosure are the basis of the test, not the belief that it was either unprompted or prompted.

A disclosure is prompted if a person makes the disclosure after

  • they become aware that we have obtained, or were about to obtain, information about their dishonest conduct, or
  • we have contacted them to commence an enquiry into a particular client, tax or activity to which the dishonest conduct relates.

The disclosure relates to the penalty for dishonest conduct, and so we consider all conduct we know about when we get to the point of charging the penalty to determine whether any disclosure is unprompted or prompted. This means we consider the initial dishonesty and also subsequent instances of dishonesty together to determine whether any disclosure was unprompted or prompted.

FA12/SCH38/PARA26 (3) - (7)