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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Information & Inspection Powers: Penalties: When is a penalty chargeable: Inaccuracy

A person giving us inaccurate information or a document containing an inaccuracy in response to an information notice, is liable to a penalty if one of the following three conditions is met.

  1. The inaccuracy was
* careless (that is, caused by the person failing to take reasonable care), or
* a deliberate inaccuracy caused by anyone.
  1. The person knew about the inaccuracy when they provided the information, or produced the document, but did not inform us at the time.

This condition only applies to inaccuracies in information that is provided on or after 1 April 2012.

  1. The inaccuracy was not careless or deliberate (that is, it was made despite taking reasonable care) but if they
* found out about it after they have given us the information or document and
* did not take reasonable steps to tell us about the inaccuracy.

There is a separate penalty for each such inaccuracy.

We will not assess a penalty for giving us inaccurate information or documents if the person

  • tells us about the inaccuracy at the time they give us the documents or information,
  • takes reasonable steps to tell us about the inaccuracy if they later discover it, or
  • did not know about the inaccuracy.

Where a person gives us a document that contains a careless inaccuracy that they ought to have known about when they gave it to us but did not tell us, please contact Central Policy, Tax Administration Advice.