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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

How to do a compliance check: penalty for an inaccuracy in response to notices: authorisation and assessment

You must get agreement, in writing, from an authorising officer to assess a penalty. For guidance about what your report should contain, see CH260500. A template IT07 in SEES Forms and Letters is available for you to get authorising officer’s agreement.

The authorising officer may differ between business areas and teams, and sometimes between different cases within a team in normal circumstance this will be one level above the caseworker and could also be

  • a line manager or manager with the appropriate skills
  • another manager or tax specialists within a team
  • a tax specialist from another team, or
  • a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) (the CRM may be the same grade or a lower grade than the tax specialist / caseworker).
  • a Customer Coordinator (CC)

Under no circumstances is self authorisation allowed.

There is a right of appeal against the penalty, see CH26900.

You must issue a penalty assessment within

  • 12 months of the date on which the inaccuracy first came to the attention of an officer of Revenue and Customs and 
  • 6 years of the date on which the person became liable to the penalty.

Penalty assessment charges will be created on SAFE by the SAFE Nominee, see CH270500.

When you assess the penalty you should send the person a notice of assessment (with a copy to the agent if there is one) and a payslip (generated through Print Payslip using the SAFE charge reference). See CH26820 for guidance about penalty assessments.