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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Agent operational guidance: dishonest tax agents: establishing dishonest conduct: recovering lost tax

You may already know the amount of the tax lost when you make initial contact with the individual or an organisation, or you may need to get access to the agent’s files to find the full extent of the dishonesty.

Once you know the amount of the tax lost you can decide how the tax should be recovered. For example, you can

  • agree that the agent will amend the clients’ tax position and pay the tax lost, or get the clients to pay the tax
  • ask the clients to make disclosures to you
  • carry out compliance checks into the clients’ tax positions, or liaise with other compliance officers to recover tax by using a variety of compliance checking tools.

If assessments or determinations are made on the tax agent’s clients, in order to recover tax lost as a result of the dishonesty, you may want to wait until those assessments are final before assessing the tax agent to a penalty for dishonest conduct.