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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

What to do when there may have been a failure or inaccuracy: fact finding you need to do when a notification or certificate is late

For these types of failures the Customer Compliance Manager (CCM), Mid-sized Business Customer Engagement Team (CET) or Caseworker does not need to obtain permission from the Penalties Consistency Panel (‘the panel’) before they can discuss the matter with the company or Senior Accounting Officer (SAO), as appropriate, to establish the facts.

However it is strongly recommended that the CCMs, CET or Caseworkers seek technical advice from their Directorate SAO specialist before discussing notification or certification timing penalties with the company or SAO.

In complex, unusual or sensitive cases it is also strongly recommended the CCM, CET or Caseworker discusses with their Deputy Director in Large Business or Assistant Director in Mid-sized Business before approaching the company or SAO.

Where a CCM, the CET or a Caseworker considers that there has been a notification or certification timing failure they must neither issue a penalty nor accept an excuse as reasonable without going through the authorisation process, see SAOG19100.

A clear record/audit trail of discussions or advice must be maintained.