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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

HM Revenue & Customs
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Penalties for Inaccuracies: Calculating the penalty: Penalty reductions for quality of disclosure: Telling: Introduction

You must check the date from which these rules apply for the tax or duty you are dealing with. See CH81011 for full details.

The quality of a person’s disclosure is measured by considering the telling, helping and giving throughout the whole of the compliance check. For each of these, you look at the timing, nature and extent of the disclosure.

The guidance at CH82442 to CH82449 discusses the ‘telling’ part of a disclosure.

Telling includes

  • admitting that the document was inaccurate or that there was an under-assessment
  • disclosing the inaccuracy in full
  • explaining how and why the inaccuracy arose.

What is important for the telling of the disclosure is the

  • timing, see CH82444,
  • nature, see CH82446 and
  • extent, see CH82448.

You need to weigh up all of these factors in considering the overall reduction for the telling element of the disclosure.

Overall, the person must be positive and as complete as possible when telling you about the disclosure.

There are no restrictions on how the person can make a disclosure. The person can tell you by phone, in person, by letter or by providing an amended return.

This guidance applies equally to

  • a disclosure made by another person (T) about false information they deliberately gave to a person (P) with the intention of making P’s return inaccurate, or
  • a disclosure about information that T deliberately withheld from P, see CH81165.

Examples of the impact of telling on disclosure are at CH82449.