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HMRC internal manual

Specialist Investigations Operational Guidance

Settlement by agreement: consideration of penalties: doubts on the penalty position

There may be cases where the penalty position is far from certain and the outcome of penalty proceedings may be doubtful.

It is quite proper in these circumstances to negotiate a contract offer. All that is required is that we should have an honest belief that proceedings for penalties are competent even though there might be doubt about the outcome in demonstrating culpability.

However where the concern about the statutory penalty position is to do with the technical application of the legislation, then the Investigator should take informal advice from the Team Leader and, if uncertainty still remains, set matters out fully in the SIOG9215 submission. Investigators can also seek advice from the Technical Manager (Powers and Penalties).