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

HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Penalties for VAT and excise wrongdoing: other penalty issues: company and company officer penalties: personal liability notices and appeals

When assessing a penalty on the company for a deliberate wrongdoing, you must notify each liable officer about their individual liability to pay all or part of the penalty, following the guidance at CH406300.

Personal liability notices (PLN’s) are subject to the same procedures and safeguards as company penalties.

A liable officer can therefore appeal against

  • your decision to pursue them for all or part of the penalty assessed on the company, as set out in the PLN, including whether the penalty is attributable to them, and
  • the amount of the penalty you have allocated to them.

They cannot however appeal against your decision that they have gained or attempted to gain personally from the deliberate wrongdoing, or that the company is likely to go into liquidation.

The liable officers do not have the right to appeal as individuals against the amount of the penalty assessed on the company and the outcome of any appeals against a PLN have no effect on the company penalty.

Any appeal against the company penalty will be considered separately and can only be appealed by the company or the administrator/insolvency practitioner if the company is being wound up.

Although a company officer cannot individually appeal against the company penalty or underlying tax assessment, where the company or administrator has decided not to appeal the company penalty, the company officer can ask the reviewing officer or tribunal to take account of the circumstances of the inaccuracy provided these have a direct bearing on the penalty allocated to the individual officer.

These circumstances should not however be taken into consideration where the company penalty, or the underlying assessment, is already under appeal and the relevant circumstances are, or will be considered through that appeal.  Where this is the case, the facts are established through the company’s appeal and the same circumstances cannot be considered again through the company officer’s appeal.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

You will find detailed guidance about the review process that applies to appealable decisions in the Appeals, Reviews and Tribunals Guidance (ARTG).

FA08/SCH41/PARA22 (1)