HM Revenue and Customs Brief 16/12
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Issued 11 June 2012
Updated Senior Accounting Officer guidance
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has refreshed its guidance
concerning the application of the Senior Accounting Officer (SAO)
The updated guidance can be accessed via the link below:
- Senior Accounting Officer Guidance: main conIssued 1 June 2012tents
Changes have been made to every section of the guidance, so it
is not possible to list all the changes here. Although the terminology
and structure has changed, there are few significant changes in policy.
Specifically, the main updates in terms of HMRC's view are in respect
- The application of SAO rules during insolvency procedures.
HMRC now believes that the SAO rules do apply in most cases where
insolvency procedures were underway (see SAOG 11100+ and 15200).
- The meaning of the turnover test for banks and insurance
companies. HMRC is now of the opinion that the word ‘turnover’ takes
its meaning from the Companies Act definition, and the test should be
applied to all companies including banks and insurance companies (see
- HMRC no longer believes that companies are only within the
SAO rules in relation to their UK activities (see SAOG 11210).
- HMRC now believes that there are no
confidentiality/disclosure bars to prevent the disclosure of a late or
the non-provision of an SAO certificate to a company (see SAOG 16500,
16600, 16610 and 16620).
Who needs to read this?
Companies, and their agents, that have previously fallen
within the SAO rules and those that will fall within the SAO rules in
line with the updated guidance.
Applying the updated guidance
There are a few areas in the updated guidance where HMRC has
changed its interpretation of the SAO rules.
HMRC will not consider charging penalties where companies and
SAOs have followed previous guidance for any period up to the first
period commencing after the publication of this revised guidance.
Additionally, HMRC will apply a 'light touch' period to any companies
that are brought into the SAO regime by its changed interpretation for
the first period commencing after publication of the guidance - along
the same lines as the ‘light touch’ approach that was applied when the
regime was introduced. Finally, HMRC will not charge any penalties for
previous periods where one would seem to be due under the previous
guidance, but which would not be due under the revised guidance.
Where HMRC’s view has not changed there has been no need to
update the content of the guidance and HMRC would expect companies and
SAOs to continue to apply the SAO rules.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright 2012.
A licence is needed to reproduce this article and has been republished
for educational / informational purposes only. Article reproduced by
permission of HM Revenue & Customs.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2012-06-13 17:15:35 in Tax Articles