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HMRC internal manual

Senior Accounting Officer Guidance

Assessing a penalty: what a notice of a penalty assessment must include

The notice of a penalty assessment issued to a Senior Accounting Officer (SAO) or company must be by letter and include

  • the unique tax reference (UTR) of the SAO or company (as appropriate)
  • the name of the company (for notification failure penalties)
  • the name of the SAO and company (for SAO personal penalties)
  • the address of the SAO or company (as appropriate). (For the SAO usually the private address. For the company the assessment letter should be addressed to the Company Secretary)
  • the date of the assessment
  • the amount of the penalty
  • the financial year to which the penalty relates
  • the legislation under which the penalty is assessed
  • the due date for payment, and
  • payment instructions, including HMRC’s accounting reference number - usually provided on a Proforma Payslip (PS2), see SAOG21500.

If there is no UTR for the SAO for example, where they are not a registered UK taxpayer, the pseudo reference number should be included in the penalty assessment to identify the person with the charge, see SAOG21500.

The notice of the penalty assessment must also explain the appeal and review rights available to the person, see ARTG2100+.