This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what beta means

HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Agent operational guidance: dishonest tax agents: penalties: penalty for dishonest conduct: authorising the penalty

The penalty for dishonest conduct must be agreed in writing by an authorising officer before it can be assessed.

The role of the authorising officer is to ensure that

  • the amount of the penalty is consistent with other similar cases
  • there is sufficient evidence to support the amount of the penalty and, in the event of an appeal, that the evidence is sufficient to convince the tribunal that the amount is correct
  • special reduction has been considered where the amount of the penalty is £5,000, see CH883650.

The authorising officer for the dishonest conduct penalty will be an officer at Grade 6 within the Agent Compliance Team (ACT), outside the caseworker’s management chain.

Self authorisation is not permitted. If you are the caseworker and an authorising officer, you cannot agree the amount of the penalty. You will need another authorising officer to agree it.

There is a summary of decisions that require authorisation at CH885000.