Penalty for inaccuracies: reductions

By Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford
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The following Employment Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Penalty for inaccuracies: reductions
  • Introduction
  • Prompted and unprompted disclosure
  • Quality of disclosure
  • Practical implications
  • Method of calculation
  • Special reduction
  • Correcting errors as opposed to disclosing inaccuracies

Introduction

Under the penalty legislation introduced by FA 2007, Sch 24, where an inaccuracy has occurred on a return or other document which leads to an understatement of tax, the taxpayer (the employer in the case of PAYE returns) is exposed to a penalty.

The rate of the penalty is based on the behaviour of the person. This rate is then applied to the potential lost revenue (PLR), which is the extra tax due as a result of correcting the inaccuracy or under-assessment, to calculate the amount of the penalty due.

See also the Penalty rates and structure for inaccuracies in returns, Calculating the penalty for inaccuracies in returns - behaviour of the taxpayer and Calculating the penalty for inaccuracies - potential lost revenue guidance notes.

HMRC guidance is at CH82400 onwards.

The rate of penalty can be reduced if the employer comes forward to inform HMRC about the inaccuracy. It can be reduced even further by the nature and quality of the information and documentation provided to HMRC. This is known as the quality of disclosure and is discussed in this guidance note.

Prompted and unprompted disclosure

A disclosure is unprompted if it is made at a time when the taxpayer / employer has no reason to believe that HMRC has discovered the inaccuracy or under-assessment.

Otherwise, a disclosure is prompted.

A disclosure must fall into one of these categories. There is both a smaller range of potential penalties and lower minimum level of penalty for voluntary disclosures.

Behaviour

More on Penalties: