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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

What to do when there may have been a failure or inaccuracy: telling a person about a penalty when a notification or certificate is late

The Customer Compliance Manager (CCM), Mid-sized Business Customer Engagement Team (CET) or Caseworker must discuss the failure with the relevant person, the company or Senior Accounting Officer (SAO), as soon as possible.

The CCM, CET or Caseworker must remember to only discuss

  • a penalty for failing to notify the name of the SAO to HMRC with the appropriate representatives of the company and
  • a penalty for failing to provide a certificate with the SAO.

It is not appropriate or necessary in either circumstance to issue the Human Rights factsheet CC/FS9. This is because the penalties are not tax geared, they are primarily administrative and they are not capable of mitigation.

The CCM, CET or Caseworker must write a letter to the company or SAO, as appropriate

  • explaining that we are considering penalties,
  • seeking to discuss and resolve issues, and
  • drawing attention to the right to advance reasonable excuse, see SAOG19720.

As this letter is just to advise the company or SAO that we may be able to make a penalty assessment, and is not the penalty assessment itself, there is no need to outline the rights of appeal at this stage.

Once the CCM, CET or Caseworker has gathered all the relevant information, they must make a submission to the Penalties Consistency Panel, see SAOG19730.