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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA): Article 6: What you must do when a penalty may be due

As soon as you have reason to believe that a tax-geared penalty, with a potential maximum penalty of 70% or 100%, may be due, see EM1363, you must tell the person about their rights under Article 6. This means that you must

  • tell them that they do not have to co-operate with your compliance check. You must also explain what might happen if they choose not to co-operate. EM1365 explains how you should do this and EM1375 sets out the message to convey
  • work the case without unreasonable delay. This includes taking positive action to overcome delay by the person or their agent. EM1380 explains how delays may affect your ability to charge a penalty.

You must also tell the person that you will issue assessments for the tax and any penalties if

  • they request early closure of the compliance check and the tribunal agrees, or
  • constructive discussions leading to an agreed position about the tax and any penalties are unlikely.