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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

From
HM Revenue & Customs
Updated
, see all updates

Introduction

All companies must deliver correct and complete tax returns.

A company may not be able to do this if its tax accounting arrangements are not fit for purpose. These arrangements will range from how it accounts for its business transactions to how it works out its final tax liability.

Schedule 46 FA09 sets out rules for certain large companies. Those companies must establish and maintain their tax accounting arrangements and their Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) is responsible for ensuring that they do.

This guidance tells the reader about

  • the rules that put responsibilities on those companies and particularly their SAOs
  • the actions that those companies and SAOs must take
  • how HMRC will ensure that they comply with the rules, and
  • the penalties chargeable if they fail to comply.

The way in which HMRC ensures compliance with the SAO rules is consistent with HMRC’s wider strategy for Mid-sized and Large Businesses by which we seek to build and maintain open and transparent relationships with companies and to work collaboratively with them in real time to reduce their level of tax compliance risk.

Schedule 46 FA09 neither replaces nor supersedes other penalty provisions; rather it is complementary to these provisions in the context of Mid-sized and Large Businesses. Guidance in the Compliance Handbook must be followed if there are any failures to file on time, failure to notify, VAT or Excise wrongdoings or any returns containing inaccuracies.