RSTP3004 - Penalty linked to computer record investigations

RSTPA guidance on the penalty a person may be liable to for obstructing or not providing reasonable assistance at an investigation of computer records.

If you:

  • obstruct us in exercising any of the powers that we have under section 151 of the RSTPA 2014 in relation to accessing, inspecting and checking the operation of any computer and associated apparatus or material which is or has been used in connection with a document we require to be produced to us, or which we wish to inspect, copy, remove or take extracts from (see RSTP2028); or
  • you fail within a reasonable time to provide us with such reasonable assistance as may be required to exercise any of these powers,

then you are liable to a penalty of £300. Note: this penalty is distinct from the separate penalty described in RSTP3015 and which applies for failing to comply with an information notice or obstructing us (or a person authorised by us) during an inspection.

You are not liable to this penalty if you satisfy us or (on appeal) the tribunal that there is a reasonable excuse for your failure to comply with these provisions. See RSTP3022 for guidance on what may, and may not, constitute a reasonable excuse.

We must make an assessment and notify you of your liability to the penalty within 12 months of the date on which you first became liable to the penalty.

You must pay the penalty no later than 30 days from the date on which we issued the notice of the penalty assessment to you, unless:

  • you give a notice of review (see RSTP6006) against the penalty, in which case you must pay the penalty no later than 30 days from the date on which the review is concluded (assuming the decision is to uphold the penalty charge);
  • you enter into mediation with us following a review but either you or we then give notice of withdrawal from mediation (see RSTP6007), in which case you must pay the penalty no later than 30 days from the date on which either you or we gave the notice of withdrawal; or
  • you give a notice of appeal (see RSTP6008) against the penalty, in which case you must pay the penalty no later than 30 days from the date on which the appeal is determined to confirm the penalty, or from the date on which the appeal is withdrawn.

We will charge interest on the amount of any unpaid penalty from the date on which the penalty is due to be paid until you pay it (see RSTP4003).

This penalty is treated for enforcement purposes (see RSTP5001) as an assessment to tax. This means that we have the same debt enforcement and recovery powers in relation to this penalty (and other penalties) as we have in relation to tax.

RSTPA 2014 section 151

Ref ID: 
RSTP3004
Archive Date: 
15 March 2015
Last updated: 
15 March 2015
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