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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Charging penalties: company officer's liability to pay a penalty: introduction

A company officer or officers may be liable to pay part, or all, of a company’s penalty for a deliberate inaccuracy, failure to notify or wrongdoing.

We can only charge an officer or officers all, or part, of the company penalty where the inaccuracy, failure or wrongdoing was attributable to the officer or officers, and 

  • the officer gained or attempted to gain personally from the offence, see CH84635, or 
  • the company is, or is likely, to become insolvent, see CH84645.

When these conditions are met, the relevant officers are referred to as ‘liable officers’.

Before you consider charging penalties on company officers you should read the Technical guidance at CH84600+.