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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Charging penalties: establishing penalty behaviour: talking to employees

You must not discuss penalties with employees unless you receive permission from the employer or other person whose tax position you are checking. If a refusal is given you should always establish and record the reason why.

Before asking an employee, who is authorised to act on behalf of the person whose tax position you are checking, any questions about an inaccuracy, failure or wrongdoing you should ensure they are made aware of their Human Rights, see CH300550.

See COG907500, for detailed guidance about questioning employees during employer compliance or status checks.

Under some circumstances you may be approached directly by an employee or ex employee who wants to give you information about a business. If you are approached in this way you must follow the Human Intelligence Guidance.