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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

Assessing a penalty: overview

A penalty will be assessed by a Customer Compliance Manager (CCM), the Mid-sized Business Customer Engagement Team (CET) or a Caseworker.

Once the CCM, CET or Caseworker has established that a penalty may be charged, has submitted the matter through the Penalties Consistency Panel and where appropriate secured the approval of the Director in Large Business or Assistant Director in Mid-sized Business, they must check again that they are within the time limits for assessing the penalty, see SAOG21200.

If they are within the time limits the CCM, CET or Caseworker should assess the penalty, see SAOG21500 and notify the person assessed in a letter, see SAOG21600. The notice of the penalty assessment must

  • be addressed to the person on whom the penalty is chargeable
  • tell the person what they must pay, and by when
  • tell the person about their rights to appeal and review
  • include payment instruction - this links the payment of their penalty to the correct charge recorded in the HMRC accounting system.

A separate penalty assessment should be made for each failure or inaccuracy.

See SAOG21600 for more information about what a notice of a penalty assessment must include.

Note: Acceptance of a penalty does not relieve the person of the need to rectify a failure. Where a penalty has been assessed a company must still provide a notification or the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) must still provide a certificate.