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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
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Information & Inspection Powers: Penalties: Overview

This section (CH26000+) applies to penalties relating to information notices and inspections issued on or after 1 April 2009 under FA08/SCH36.

Where you are considering penalties in respect of failure to comply with information notices issued or obstruction of inspections carried out under powers that applied before Schedule 36, you must use the penalty rules relating to those previous powers, see CH21080.

We may charge a monetary penalty where

  • a person has been given an information notice and the information and/or documents are not provided or produced, see CH26220, or
  • an inspection that has been approved by the tribunal is deliberately obstructed, see CH26240, or
  • documents are concealed or destroyed which are, or HMRC have said may be, required by an information notice, see CH26260, or
  • in response to an information notice, a person provides inaccurate information or produces a document that contains an inaccuracy, see CH26280.

There is a right of appeal against all these penalties, see CH26900.

There will not be a penalty if there is a reasonable excuse for the failure, obstruction, concealment or destruction, see CH26300.

There is also a criminal offence, see CH27200, of concealing or destroying documents which are, or we have said may be, required by an information notice that has been approved by the tribunal.

This will only be considered in very serious cases. A person guilty of the offence is liable to a fine or imprisonment.

The guidance at CH26000+ applies from 1 April 2011 to failures to comply with information notices issued to a person who is not a revenue trader under Section 118BA of the Customs & Excise Management Act 1979 (CEMA79).

The penalty provisions in Sections 100 to 103 of TMA 1970 do not apply to a penalty under Schedule 36 FA 2008.

Operational guidance on Schedule 36 penalties starts at CH270000.