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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

Assessing a penalty: penalty involving time limits - Example 1

Grand Manufacturing Plc is a qualifying company for its financial year ended 31 December 2011. It is a public limited company and therefore must file its accounts for the financial year at Companies House by 30 June 2012. This is also the final date for the company to notify the details of its Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) to HMRC and for the SAO to provide a certificate for the financial year.

John is the Customer Compliance Manager (CCM) for HMRC. It is now 12 January 2013 and he is preparing the risk assessment on the company. He finds that the company notified the name of its SAO in February 2012 but that the SAO has not submitted a certificate.

This is the point in time at which the failure has come to John’s attention. So John will now have until 11 July 2013 to assess a penalty on the SAO for the failure to provide a certificate within the time limit.

If John had specifically checked on 1 July 2012 whether the SAO had provided a certificate and the SAO had not, then this would have been the date on which the failure came to his attention. In that case, he would have had until 31 December 2012 to assess a penalty.

Mid-sized businesses do not have a CCM. For the definition of a Mid-sized business, see SAOG05010. For Mid-sized businesses, the Mid-Sized Business Customer Engagement Team (CET) or a Caseworker would assess the penalty in the above example.