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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Calculating penalties: special reduction: introduction

You must not give a special reduction without authority from TALA to do so.

This is a statutory provision, which only grants special reduction when there are special circumstances. You must consider special reduction in all cases where a penalty is to be assessed.

A special reduction of a penalty includes

  • staying a penalty, and
  • agreeing a compromise in relation to proceedings for a penalty.

Staying a penalty means stopping or postponing enforcement of a penalty. Agreeing a compromise allows us to forego all or part of a penalty.

You or your managers cannot grant special reduction locally and you must not enter into discussions about the amount of any special reduction.

You can decide not to grant a special reduction.

You must refer your case to TALA, see CH403275, if

  • the person disputes your decision that no special reduction is due, or
  • you believe special circumstances exist.

Then it is TALA’s responsibility to decide whether a special reduction should be given and the form and extent of the special reduction.

The technical guidance relating to special reduction begins at CH170000.