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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

Assessing a penalty: raising a penalty assessment

A penalty assessment is raised against a Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) or company through the HMRC Strategic Accounting Framework Environment (SAFE).

The Customer Compliance Manager (CCM), Mid-sized Business Customer Engagement Team (CET) or Caseworker must supply details of the charge to the local SAFE Nominee. There is no specific form for supplying this information, but the following details are required.

  • The unique taxpayer reference (UTR)
  • The name of SAO or company (as appropriate)
  • The address. In the case of a penalty raised against an SAO this will be the private address of the person
  • The date of assessment
  • The period for the charge (the financial year)
  • The charge type - ‘Sch 46 FA 09 SAO Penalties’
  • The amount of the penalty.

If there is no UTR for the SAO for example, where they are not a registered UK taxpayer, the CCM, CET or Caseworker will first need to apply to the SAFE Unit Technical team for a pseudo reference number to identify the person with the charge, see SAOG21510.

SAFE input has to be completed before the notice of the penalty assessment, see SAOG21600, is sent out. This is because the CCM, CET or Caseworker must ask the SAFE nominee to provide the SAFE accounting reference number.

The SAFE nominee may print off or manually complete a Proforma Payslip (PS2) to accompany the notice of the penalty assessment.

If a payslip is not available the payment instruction details, including the accounting reference number may be included within the notice of the penalty assessment.