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HMRC internal manual

Excise Civil Penalties Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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The penalty process: Exceptional 'immediate' issue of penalties

You will sometimes be faced with circumstances which require the immediate issue of a penalty. For example, an unauthorised taxpayer with no known fixed address or an authorised taxpayer who wishes to pay the penalty immediately to prevent the seizure of the goods.

Generally such penalties will be issued in order to secure immediate payment, so they should only be issued if you are sure the trader will pay.

If you are likely to be faced with a situation which requires the issue of an immediate penalty you should ensure that you carry

  • Penalty forms (EX601)
  • a HMRC 52 receipt book ( a receipt must be issued when payment is received)
  • a note of CECAS codes.

If you are unable to get a line manager to authorise an immediate penalty, the penalty form should be signed by a second officer of any grade if you are accompanied on a visit.

If you are unaccompanied on a visit and faced with circumstances which require the issue of an immediate penalty you may issue it under your own signature.