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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Our Conduct and Behaviour: customer service to disabled people: how to help: future compliance

When someone has a disability covered by the Equality Act it is the responsibility of HMRC to make reasonable adjustments. You would expect the person to manage their tax affairs so that they were able to comply with their obligations, but

  • you cannot insist that they make contingency arrangements in case they are affected by their disability, and
  • you must make sure that they are not disadvantaged by their disability.

If, at the end of your compliance check you decide that a person has been non-compliant as a direct result of their disability you must take this into account when making penalty decisions, see COG11370. You should also discuss future compliance with them.

Your discussions should focus on how the person will manage their tax affairs in the future. They may be able to organise their affairs, without our help, to make sure that in the future

  • their returns are correct, and
  • they are able to meet other obligations.

You must always explain the services that HMRC has available to assist people with disabilities and where they can go for additional help. The following links may be particularly useful:

When contacting HMRC the person should explain that they have a disability and would like additional help so that they can manage their tax affairs.

If, in the future, they do not take advantage of HMRC services and either

  • submit inaccurate tax returns, or
  • do not comply with other obligations

then you should take that into account when considering penalties.