A Personal Liability Notice (PLN) may be issued by HMRC in the event of a company's or a Limited Liability Partnership's (LLP's) failure to pay its tax debts or tax penalties to HMRC. A PLN will transfer the liability to pay the debt to one of its officers.

  • A PLN is generally only used in cases where HMRC can prove that the underlying payment failure is attributable to the fraud or serious neglect of an officer.
  • A PLN will typically be issued when a company goes into liquidation with tax debts.

There are two main types of PLN:

PLNs for National Insurance Contributions debt

  • A PLN may only be served if HMRC can prove that the non-payment of tax is attributable to the fraud or neglect of one or more of the company’s officers.

PLNs for VAT penalties

  • A PLN may apply if a company is liable to a VAT penalty for deliberate wrongdoing.
  • The VAT wrongdoing is attributable to the deliberate action of an officer or officers of the company.

Who is an officer?

  • Company officers include elected officers, managers and anyone who is acting in the role of director.
  • LLP officers are members.

Officers can mitigate the risk of being served a PLN by ensuring that they are properly advised in the event of potential corporate failure and take prompt and reasonable action to obtain advice and mitigate the situation in the event that the company starts to have tax payment issues. 


An officer may appeal against the issue of the PLN


NICs: Section 121C of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (SSAA 1992)

VAT: Para 22 Schedule 41 FA 2008  https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2008/9/schedule/41

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