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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Charging Penalties: establishing penalty behaviour: examples of questions to establish behaviour: failure to notify

You must ask questions about each failure so that you can understand and establish the behaviour that caused them.

You should prepare questions separately for each case to deal with the particular circumstances but you might consider asking some of the following questions to help establish the behaviour:

  • How did the failure occur?
  • What steps did the person take to fulfil their obligation to notify?
  • In this business who is responsible for what? What is the person’s role? Did the person know about their obligation to notify?
  • If the person was uncertain about notification, what advice was available and what was sought? If so, from whom? What was that advice?
  • Did the person follow the advice given? If not, why not?
  • Did anyone tell the person that they had an obligation to notify?
  • Have there been previous failures?
  • What records or documents are available to support the person’s explanations?
  • If it is suggested that the failure was the fault of someone else, see CH71640. If it is suggested that an agent is at fault, see CH75120.