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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Operational Guidance

Supporting Guidance: employer compliance: guidance by subject: penalties: things to consider under disclosure

You should always think about what disclosure means as explained in COG914100.

Some examples for consideration are

  • Did the employer disclose the inaccuracy before he had any reason to expect an approach from us? (Full disclosure at this stage justifies 30% abatement).
  • Did the employer disclose the inaccuracy as soon as he was notified of a visit but prior to the visit? (Full disclosure at this stage does not warrant 30% abatement. The employer has not been challenged but should fear early discovery).
  • Did the employer disclose the inaccuracy at the initial talk through COG905085 which would be difficult to detect from the records? (Full disclosure at this stage would warrant a high abatement of 20% but piecemeal or partial disclosure would earn a reduced abatement).

You might approach disclosure by asking yourself ‘did the employer hold anything back’.

An employer who acknowledges things have gone wrong and does his best to help identify them still qualifies for full abatement, even if the exact amounts are not known at the initial stage.