How to Work out a Penalty for Failing to Notify

 

Finance Act 2008 lays down maximum and minimum penalty for failure to notify. The only reduction of the maximum penalty percentage permitted is a reduction for disclosure. A disclosure can be prompted unprompted.

 

An unprompted disclosure earns a greater reduction in the penalty than a prompted disclosure.

 

The penalty cannot be reduced below the statutory minimum unless HMRC agrees to make a special reduction. The statutory minimum depends on the behaviour leading to the failure and:-

 

    • Whether the failure was prompted or unprompted: and

 

    • For non-deliberate failures, when the disclosure was made.

 

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Calculating the Penalty

 

The stages for calculating the amount of the penalty are as follows:-

 

    • Identify the behaviour leading to the failure and whether the disclosure was prompted or unprompted;

 

    • Identify the maximum (a) and minimum (b) penalty;

 

    • Deduct the minimum penalty from the maximum penalty to work out the maximum permitted reduction for disclosure (c): c = a – b;

 

    • Work out the percentage reduction for the quality of the disclosure (d);

 

    • Apply the percentage reduction for the quality of the disclosure to the maximum permitted reduction for disclosure to work out the actual reduction percentage for disclosure (e): e = d x c;

 

    • Deduct the actual reduction percentage from the maximum penalty percentage to work out the penalty percentage (f): f = a – e;

 

    • Apply the penalty percentage to the potential lost revenue (PLR) to work out the amount of the penalty: amount of the penalty = PLR x f.

 

 

 

 

Example 1

 

A person failed to notify on time and did so more than 12 months late. The failure was deliberate but without concealment and the PLR is £5,000.

 

The disclosure was unprompted and the quality of the disclosure justifies a reduction for disclosure of 80%.

 

    • The failure was deliberate but without concealment and the disclosure was unprompted but more than 12 months late.

 

    • The maximum penalty is 70% and the minimum 20%.

 

    • The maximum permitted deduction for disclosure is 50% (70% – 20%).

 

    • The reduction for the quality of the disclosure is 80%.

 

    • The actual reduction percentage for disclosure is 40% (50% x 80%).

 

    • The penalty percentage is 30% (70% – 40%).

 

    • The penalty is £1,500 (PLR £5,000 x 30%).

 

 

 

 

Example 2

 

A person failed to notify on time but did so less than 12 months late. The failure was non-deliberate and the PLR is £5,000.

 

The disclosure was unprompted and the quality of the disclosure justifies a reduction for disclosure of 100%.

 

    • The failure was deliberate but without concealment and the disclosure was unprompted and made less than 12 months late.

 

    • The maximum penalty is 30% and the minimum 0%.

 

    • The maximum permitted deduction for disclosure is 30% (30% -0%).

 

    • The reduction for the quality of the disclosure is 100%.

 

    • The actual reduction percentage for disclosure is 30% (30% x 100%).

 

    • The penalty percentage is 0% (30% – 30%).

 

    • The penalty is nil (PLR £5,000 x 0%).

 

 

 

 

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Prompted or Unprompted

 

A disclosure is:-

 

    • Unprompted if is made when the person making it has no reason to believe that HMRC have discovered, or are about to discover, the relevant act or failure;

 

    • Otherwise it is prompted.

 

HMRC have indicated that a disclosure will be treated as a prompted disclosure if it is made by a person after:-

 

    • They became aware that HMRC had obtained information concerning the obligation to notify;

 

    • HMRC had contacted them regarding the particular tax or activity to which the obligation to notify relates; or

 

    • During the course of a compliance check concerning one tax liability, it becomes apparent that they have failed to notify liability to another tax or duty.

 

A disclosure made after an HMRC national campaign to highlight a particular type of potential non-compliance can still be treated as an unprompted disclosure.

 

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Reduction for Disclosure

 

A disclosure has three elements; telling, helping and allowing access. For making the reduction for disclosure, HMRC weights the three elements as follows:-

 

    • Telling – 30%

 

    • Helping – 40%

 

    • Allowing access – 30%

 

 

The reduction for disclosure reflects the ‘quality’ of each of these three elements. For these purposes, para. 12 (4) defines quality to include:-

 

    • Timing;

 

    • Nature; and

 

    • Extent.

 

 

Under investigation by HMRC? Let KinsellaTax take the stress away. Call us NOW on 0800 471 4546

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