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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Charging Penalties: establishing penalty behaviour: issuing factsheets and explaining the process

Before you seek information about a person’s penalty behaviour you must give them the Human Rights Act (HRA) message. This is usually done by giving or sending them the factsheet CC/FS9 - The Human Rights Act and penalties but it can also be done verbally.

At the same time, you should give or send the person the appropriate penalties factsheet, see CH202000.

Guidance about the HRA and HMRC penalties starts at CH300000. The message is set out in CH300900 and in factsheet CC/FS9.

If you are in a face to face discussion with the person, you should explain that they do not have to answer any questions but that if they cooperate, you will be able to reduce the penalty, see CH403200.

Ask them if they have any questions and be prepared to explain the penalty amounts and reductions for disclosure.

You should also explain to the person at this stage, that if you consider that a penalty is payable, you will send them a letter explaining why and provide them with your calculations and ask them if they agree. If they do not agree with your calculations, they will have 30 days to send you further information and explain why they don’t agree. A final decision will then be made by a senior manager in HMRC. The person can ask for a formal review or he can appeal that decision.