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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

Who to assess: where there is more than one potential excise duty point

Liability to pay duty, and hence the person we assess, is in most cases effectively determined by the excise duty point, and different duty points often lead to different liabilities.

It is particularly important, therefore, that you seek to establish all the circumstances surrounding a case before you make an assessment. Identifying the correct duty point will lead you to assess the right person, for the right reason.

The basic rule is that excise goods can only pass an excise duty point once. Where you identify a sequence of irregularities that each produce an excise duty point you should base your assessment on the earliest duty point.

The assessment we make and notify must only be in respect of one duty point, the one that is best supported by the facts of the case. If there is still some uncertainty as to the precise facts then it will be necessary to take appropriate steps to clarify those areas.

If having exhausted our lines of enquiry and there is nothing else we can do to establish those facts then a decision to be made based on what is available and the assessment to be made and notified accordingly.