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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
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Publishing details of deliberate tax defaulters: The publication questions: Question 3 - Was this relevant penalty found as a consequence of an investigation: When is a person found to have incurred a relevant penalty

We can only publish a person’s details if we can answer ‘yes’ to all five publication questions at CH190620.

To answer question 3, see CH190682, you must first consider when the person was found to have incurred a relevant penalty. A person is found to have incurred a relevant penalty when the amount of the penalty they must pay is decided.

In broad terms, the amount of a relevant penalty depends on:

  • the person’s inaccuracy, failure, omission or wrongdoing being deliberate
  • the amount of the PLR, and
  • the quality of disclosure.

The relevant penalty is found when all of those things are known.

They become known when the person and HMRC agree them or when a tribunal or court makes a decision that is not, or cannot be, challenged, see CH190940.


HMRC undertakes an investigation into Ewan’s tax affairs and discovers two deliberate defaults. The officer discusses these with Ewan on 20 October 2012.


Penalty for… Outcome
Deliberate excise wrongdoing on 25 January 2012 Ewan accepts the penalty at the meeting on 20 October 2012
Deliberate and concealed inaccuracy for period ending 31 May 2012 The tribunal varies the decision on 3 April 2013 and reduces the penalty because the PLR was recalculated

The penalty for the deliberate excise wrongdoing is found to have been incurred on 20 October 2012 as Ewan accepted the penalty for that default without challenging it.

However, the penalty for the deliberate and concealed inaccuracy is not found to have been incurred until 3 April 2013, when the tribunal decides to vary the penalty.

If, instead, the tribunal decides to uphold the original decision, the penalty is still found to have been incurred on 3 April 2013. This is because the tribunal makes its decision on that date.

FA09/S94 (1)(a)