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Move the penalty spot

21 April 2015 / Mike Thexton
Issue: 4497 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , penalties , Admin , Investigations
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HMRC are reviewing their system of fines

KEY POINTS

  • Behaviour-based penalties work well on paper but cause confusion and do not seem to influence taxpayer behaviour.
  • HMRC’s penalty discussion document considers the principles set out in the powers review.
  • The impact of the Equoland judgment on a unified penalty system.
  • Penalties must be credible and consistent.

After arguing that the VAT default surcharge was unfair and should be reformed the Chartered Institute of Taxation asked me to meet two HMRC officials to discuss the matter.

Then an invitation arrived to a workshop hosted by HMRC on a discussion document about penalty reform in general. This article reviews some of the issues raised by the discussion document and the workshop. The views expressed are my own.

HMRC published the penalties review discussion document on...

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