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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Charging Penalties: establishing penalty behaviour: examples of questions to establish behaviour: excise wrongdoing

The questions you need to ask will depend very much on the circumstances of each case (handling, misusing, supplying for misuse) but you may want to consider asking some of the following questions to obtain evidence of deliberate behaviour.

  • Who is responsible for purchase of excise goods?
  • How are suppliers found?
  • What do they know about them?
  • Has any information given by the supplier about themselves or where the goods have come from been checked?
  • How were the goods paid for?
  • Was any free stock received?
  • What was the mark-up on the goods?
  • What checks were undertaken to establish credibility of customers, suppliers and supplies?
  • Has the business benefitted as a result of the wrongdoing, for example by;

    • selling goods cheaper than competitors?
    • making a larger profit than their competitors?

For further guidance on establishing behaviour on supplying goods for misuse refer to HCOS2675