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HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

Breach of Walking Possession Order: Calculation and notification of the penalty: Notification of a penalty

A penalty for breach of a walking possession agreement may be imposed only where the agreement has been signed by

  • the sole proprietor
  • a partner (in the case of partnerships), or
  • a director or company secretary (in the case of limited companies).

It is accepted that it is not always possible to get such a signature and there is no intention of altering the present practice of accepting the signature on the agreement of an authorised employee where this is the best that can be achieved.

However no penalty may be imposed in these circumstances following any breach of the agreement.

When the issue of a penalty has been approved a Form VAT291 should be completed. The assessment amount should be checked and countersigned by the officer’s line manager prior to issue.

There is no discretion to vary the amount of the penalty. There is no power to mitigate, but the HMRC or Tribunal may remit the whole of the penalty if satisfied that the trader has a reasonable excuse, see VCP11530.