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HMRC internal manual

Excise Assessments Interim Guidance

Assessment to excise duty: Must we assess the person responsible for the default

The person we assess may be someone other than the person responsible for the default. Other provisions in legislation will provide for who has liability to the duty due.

Section 12(1) of the Finance Act 1994 does not specify that the default must be that of the person from whom the duty has become due. It simply requires that “there has been a default”. It follows that a person may be assessed under section 12(1) even if they were not responsible for the default that gives rise to the assessment.

There must, however, be a causal link between the duty liability and the default.

A simple example is where a consignor warehouse-keeper fails to produce a certificate of receipt (normally copy 3 of the Accompanying Administrative Document (AAD)) for an intra-EU movement of excise goods. This would be a default under s12(2A).

However another person has arranged the guarantee and is therefore the person liable to pay the duty. The liability arises under regulation 7(1) of the Excise Duty Points (Duty Suspended Movements of Excise Goods) Regulations 2001 (DSMEG), assuming there has been an irregularity and a duty point has been created under those regulations.