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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

The Human Rights Act and Penalties: The Human Rights Act message and factsheet

Below is the text of the Human Rights Act message, which is contained in factsheet CC/FS9 (GOV.UK) - The Human Rights Act and Penalties. You should use this text when you tell a person about their rights under Article 6. If you are in a meeting or on the telephone and are confident about the content of the message, you can use your own words to convey the message. If your case is a straight forward telephone intervention, it may be more appropriate to use the telephone script at CH300950.

You must also give or send the person a copy of factsheet CC/FS9 (GOV.UK) and any relevant penalty factsheets you need to issue at the same time.

CH300600 explains how to issue this message.

We always welcome your co-operation with our compliance check and in establishing your correct liabilities including whether any penalties may be due. The extent to which you co-operate with us and provide us with information is entirely your choice.

When we are considering penalties you have the right under Article 6 to not answer our questions. This is sometimes referred to as the right not to self incriminate or the right to silence. This right does not cover information or documents that already exist. This means that you must provide us with such information or documents that already exist, if we have a legal right to request them.

In making a decision about how much you are going to co-operate with us, you have the right to get help from a professional advisor. If you do not already have an advisor, you may want to consider consulting one.

You have the right to have the matter of penalties dealt with without unreasonable delay. We will normally tell you whether any penalties are due once we have agreed the tax position with you. If we cannot agree the tax position, we will send you an amendment or assessment of additional tax we believe is due. If we consider that a penalty is also due, we will send you an assessment of the penalty, based on the additional tax.

If we charge you a penalty you have the right to ask for a review or to appeal. You also have the right to ask for your review or appeal against both the tax and the penalty decision to be considered together. Our factsheet HMRC1 HM Revenue and Customs decisions - what to do if you disagree, explains what to do if you want to ask for a review, or to appeal.

You have the right to apply for publicly funded legal assistance or Legal Aid. In some circumstances, funding may be available to help you bring certain appeals before the tribunal. If you intend to appeal against a penalty assessment, you may want to check whether your case qualifies and the type of help that may be available. We have no involvement in decisions about whether or not your case will qualify.

More information about funded legal assistance can be found at the end of factsheet CC/FS9.