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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

Penalties: formal assessments and determinations: outline


If you need to issue a penalty determination, you must first seek the approval of your Authorising Officer. You can never authorise your own penalty determination.

  • You must submit the case to the Authorising Officer with a completed AO Report Form, following the guidance at EM5205 to EM5206.
  • The Authorising Officer determines the amount of the penalty. This means that they approve the amount of the penalty and pass the case back to you.
  • You are then responsible for issuing the penalty determination. The taxpayer’s rights are protected by means of appeal provisions.

The Authorising Officer for the penalties listed below is normally your manager. Where there is a group with a Customer Compliance  Manager (CCM), the CCM can be the Authorising Officer for that group, regardless of the grade of their tax specialists.

  • TMA70/S7/S10/S11A, FA98/Sch18/Para 2, FA08/Sch41/Para1: Failure to notify chargeability
  • TMA70/S12B(5), FA98/Sch18/Para 23: Failure to keep and maintain records in relation to returns
  • TMA70/Sch1A/Para 2A(4): Failure to keep and maintain records in relation to claims
  • TMA70/S93(5), TMA70/S93(2)(old), TMA70/S94: Tax-geared late filing penalties
  • TMA70/S95 or TMA70/S96, FA98/Sch18/Para 20 or 89, FA07/Sch24/Para1: Incorrect returns, etc
  • TMA70/S95A, FA07/Sch24/Para1: Incorrect partnership returns, etc
  • TMA70/S98(2): Incorrect information, return, etc
  • TMA70/S98A(2)(b) and TMA70/S98A(4), FA07/Sch24/Para1: Late or incorrect employer end of year returns.

See the Compliance Handbook for

  • inaccuracies in returns and other documents with a filing date on or after 1 April 2009, where the return relates to a tax period beginning on or after 1 April 2008 (CH83000+), and
  • failure to comply with an information notice issued on or after 1 April 2009 (CH26800+).

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