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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: data-gathering powers: allowing further time to comply with the notice

You may consider allowing a person further time to comply with the notice, but only if the person can comply with the notice within the extended time.

What constitutes acceptable reasons for not complying with the notice will depend upon the particular circumstances of each individual case. However, such circumstances do not include the following:

  • oversight or negligence on the part of the data-holder
  • delay, due to pressure of work.

You should only consider extending the time for the data-holder to comply with the notice where there is good reason, arising out of circumstances beyond the data-holders’ control, why the data could not be supplied within the time given.

We will normally accept that there is a ‘good reason’ if the data is lost or delayed, for example:

  • in the post, because of an unforeseen event disrupting the postal service
  • fire or flood at the office where the data is held
  • prolonged industrial action, and
  • computer/systems breakdown.

If this is the case you must not charge the

  • initial fixed penalty, and
  • daily default penalties.