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This week's opinion

29 September 2015 / Andrew Hubbard
Issue: 4520 / Categories: Comment & Analysis

New regimes for penalties, travel and subsistence.

Penalties will always be a controversial issue. Most people accept that that there is a place for penalties in the tax system and that there should be a sanction against those who deliberately cheat the system. There is also general agreement that some sort of penalty regime to deal with compliance failures such as late filing is necessary. But there consensus breaks down. Should penalties be higher or lower? Should there be penalties where no tax is due? Should past compliance performance be considered? 
HMRC’s latest discussion document summarises responses to the previous consultation. Everybody expressed dissatisfaction with elements of the regime but there were many ideas about what changes were needed. HMRC will now develop further thinking – concentrating first on late filing and payment penalties with inaccuracy penalties later. Some people are frustrated that there are no firm...

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