Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Contract settlements: acceptance: authorisation levels - national teams - High Net Worth Unit (HNWU)

The guidance about contract settlements at EM6000+ only relates to direct tax. You must never include VAT or VAT penalties in a contract settlement.

The limits on this page apply to the total settlement, including all duties, interest and penalties, which includes:

  • all tax and NIC, whether culpable or non-culpable
  • full and aspect enquiries.

There is further guidance about the limits in the HNWU Compliance Governance Framework (CGF) and on the HNWU settlement stencils, both in the HNWU CAF.

Limits for all settlements

The following authorisation limits apply to all settlements, regardless of the penalty position or whether you have established culpability.

  • Up to £100,000 - SO Manager (Lead CRM’s may, at their discretion, delegate the authorisation of settlements below £50,000 to suitably experienced band HO Managers).
  • Up to £500,000 - Lead CRM.
  • Between £500,000 and £1m - Twinned Lead CRM (Any settlement requiring authorisation at HNWU Senior Management Team (SMT) level must be submitted via Lead CRM ) (For settlements between £500k - £1m, HNWU Sites will be twinned to ensure clear blue water in the settlement process).
  • Between £1m and £5m - Head of Delivery (Any settlement requiring authorisation at HNWU Senior Management Team (SMT) level must be submitted via Lead CRM).
  • Between £5m and £10m - Head of HNWU (Any settlement requiring authorisation at HNWU Senior Management Team (SMT) level must be submitted via Lead CRM).
  • Offers between £10m and £100m must be authorised by the SPT Dispute Resolution Board at the decision point.

Refusal of an offer must also be similarly authorised. If you are a Lead CRM and are personally working a case, the Head of Business Delivery must authorise acceptance of offers.

If the offer is an instalment offer, you must also apply the additional limits described below.

Additional limits for instalment offers

For instalment offers, first consider the limits above for all settlements. Then consider the following additional limits, and apply the higher authorisation level:

Period of instalment offer Authorisation
   
Offer does not extend beyond two years. May be accepted by SO Managers.
Offer between two and three years. Must be authorised by an Lead CRM.
Offer exceeds three years. Must be authorised by an authorising officer in the HNWU Senior Management Team.

For example, an offer is for less than £50,000

  • Can be authorised by a designated SO if it is not an instalment offer, but
  • Has to be authorised by an Lead CRM if it is an instalment offer for between two and three years.

HNWU settlement stencil

When you are submitting an authorisation request to the Lead CRM, you must submit it with the appropriate HNWU settlement stencil. This is either

  • the abridged version for settlements for under £100,000, or
  • the full version for settlements of £100,000 and over.

Your line manager must countersign the settlement stencil to say that they have checked and agreed it.