Accelerated Payment Notices


Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs)

Accelerated Payment Notices (APNs) allow HMRC to demand payment of tax where a taxpayer has participated in a tax scheme even before the scheme itself has been tested and a decision issued by the Tribunal or Court. This means that there can be a long delay in the taxpayer receiving repayment of tax if it is found that the scheme works. The sum demanded has to be paid within 90 days or the taxpayer faces penalties. There is no right of appeal against an APN. Partners are subject to partner payment notices (PPNs) which follow much the same broad principles.

Over 60,000 APNs have been issued since their launch in 2014, raising over £3 billion in revenue for HMRC. APNs can be issued to a taxpayer who is claiming an advantage from a tax arrangement if:

  • there is an open enquiry or appeal

  • the scheme was notifiable under the Disclosure of Tax Avoidance Schemes (DOTAS) rules

  • a Follower Notice has been issued to another individual who has entered into a similar scheme.


What APNs mean for you

Payment of the amount shown on the APN must be paid within 90 days unless representations are made to HMRC. Delaying payment leads to automatic late payment penalties or surcharges becoming due. A Follower Notice can be issued when HMRC has successfully challenged the validity of a tax scheme in the tax tribunal or court. Non-compliance with a Follower Notice can lead to penalties of up to 50% of the tax outstanding, in addition to the penalties for any later payment of the APN. Unfortunately there is no right of appeal against a Follower Notice or APN, but the appeal against the underlying tax in dispute can continue, although this does not remove HMRC’s ability to levy Follower Notice/APN penalties. The only potential remedy against the notices is by Judicial Review, stating that the Follower Notice or APN was incorrectly issued and expert advice can help in such circumstances.