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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Penalties: penalty determinations: notices of penalty determination

COTAX automatically issues a notice of penalty determination to the company, person or body acting in capacity or agent as shown in the following table.

Type of Capacity Present Original issued to Copy issued to
None The company An agent for whom the 64-8 signal is set to ‘Y’
Agent of a Non-Resident Company The UK permanent establishment or agency An agent for whom the 64-8 signal is set to ‘Y’
Administrator The company The Administrator
Liquidator The company The Liquidator
Receiver The company The Receiver
Trustee Trustee An agent for whom the 64-8 signal is set to ‘Y’

The address for the company output is the Registered Office address. Where that address is RLS, output is sent to the communication address if present on the COTAX record.

The determination to the company also contains appropriate messages. The messages printed depend on the type of determination notice (main, amended or further), and include:

  • the name of any agent who has been sent a copy of the notice
  • the right of appeal
  • a determination of an appeal
  • the penalties charged for the specified period.

A standard letter of explanation usually accompanies the notices of determination. It explains the assumptions that HMRC are making about the return period and includes a payslip and a reconciliation statement showing the payment position for the AP for tax, interest and penalties.

When the determination affects more than one return period, COTAX issues a letter of explanation for each return period.

Every main and further penalty determination is issued with a set of notes that explains the relevant law and appeals procedure.

COTAX does not issue a notice of penalty determination to an address that has the RLS signal set. Instead, it:

  • stores the penalty determination details
  • does not create a penalty charge posting on the record
  • sets the attribute ‘Output Awaiting Issue’ to ‘Y’ on  RRLS (Registered Office RLS List).

A new registered office address is usually received automatically from Companies House and when recorded on COTAX the RLS signal is removed from the record and the entry deleted from RRLS and the determinations are automatically issued 14 days later.

When you enter a communication address using function ACOM (Amend Communication Details), the RLS signal remains against the registered office address. The entry remains on RRLS but the attribute ‘Output Awaiting Issue’ changes from ‘Y’ to ‘N’. The penalty determinations are automatically issued 14 days later.

For further information on dealing with RLS items see COM140000 onwards.

You can check when COTAX issued a notice using function DPEN (Display Penalty Determination).

When you reduce a penalty determination to Nil COTAX issues no output.


  • COM101081 for a list of forms relevant to this subject
  • COM101031 for a list of functions to use in particular situations
  • COM101011 for legislation applying to this subject.