Penalties for partnerships and officers of a company

By Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford

The following Owner-Managed Businesses guidance note by Tolley in association with Philip Rutherford provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Penalties for partnerships and officers of a company
  • Introduction
  • Partnerships
  • Officers of companies
  • Failure to prevent criminal facilitation of tax evasion


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 is exposed to a penalty.

The rate of the penalty is based on the behaviour of the taxpayer and whether the disclosure of the error was prompted by HMRC. Once the rate has been calculated, this 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, in order to calculate the amount of the penalty due.

The behaviour of the taxpayer is covered in more detail in the Calculating the penalty for inaccuracies in returns ― behaviour of the taxpayer guidance note. The PLR is discussed in the Calculating the penalty for inaccuracies ― potential lost revenue guidance note. The quality of the disclosure made to HMRC is covered in the Penalty reductions for inaccuracies guidance note.


The partnership tax return details the taxable profit / loss which is allocated to each partner based upon the profit share ratio of the partnership. Each partner is taxed independently on their share of the partnership profits. As partnerships are not liable to tax as a single business entity, they cannot be subjected to a penalty. Instead, any penalty is levied on the partners who have made the inaccuracy. However, the partnership is required to deliver the partnership return. The partner nominated to file the return is known as the ‘nominated partner’.

If a partnership return includes an inaccuracy, it may affect one, some or all of the partners; it does not only affect the nominated partner. If a penalty is applied, it will apply to the partners impacted by the inaccuracy. However, only the nominated partner can appeal against the imposition of

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