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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Dishonest tax agents: appeals against a penalty: dishonest conduct

A person can appeal against the amount of penalty that we have charged for dishonest conduct. The person cannot appeal against the imposition of the penalty.

The notice of appeal must

  • be given to us in writing
  • be given within 30 days from the penalty assessment, and
  • state the grounds of the appeal.

If the person notifies their appeal against the amount of penalty for dishonest conduct to the tribunal, the tribunal may

  • confirm the penalty amount, or
  • substitute a different penalty amount that HMRC had the power to make.

If the tribunal substitutes a different penalty amount, the tribunal may rely on the special reduction provisions, see CH184500,

  • to the same extent as we did when we first decided the penalty, which may mean applying the same reduction as we did to a different starting point, or
  • to a different extent, but only if the tribunal thinks that our decision was ‘flawed’.

Being ‘flawed’ means when considered in light of the principles applicable in proceedings for judicial review.

The person does not have to pay the penalty before we can consider an appeal against the assessment of the penalty.

For procedural purposes, an appeal against the penalty is treated in the same way as an appeal against an assessment to income tax. This means that the person appeals to HMRC and has the opportunity to have a review or to notify the appeal to the tribunal, either instead of or after the review.

The Appeals, Reviews and Tribunals Guidance, ARTG2100+ contains full guidance on the review and appeals process, see ARTG2100+.

See CH185260 for guidance on appeals against a penalty for failing to comply with a file access notice.