HMRC Penalties Explained
Released February 2017

Penalties can be imposed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for a wide range of tax ‘offences’, i.e. compliance failures such as the late filing of tax returns, late payment of tax, the failure to notify chargeability to tax and in some cases the failure to provide information and documents.

This special report looks at HMRC penalties, how they can arise for tax compliance failures, and how those penalties can potentially be deferred or eliminated.

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Contents include:

About This Guide


1 Think You’re Safe From Penalties? Think Again!

1.1 How To Avoid A Penalty For Someone Else’s Mistake!

1.2 Your Fault, Your Penalty!

1.3 Breaking New Ground

1.4 Prove It!

2 That’s Special! How To Reduce Or Avoid Penalties

2.1 Are You Special?

2.2 Has HMRC Considered A Reduction?

2.3 Special Reduction By The Tribunal?

3 Penalty Saved! Tax Return Errors

4 Keep Them In Suspense!

4.1 No Penalty…For Now

4.2 Don’t Do It Again!

4.3 Is That SMART?

4.4 Flawed Approach?

5 The ‘Reasonable Excuse’ Exception From Penalties

5.1 Excuses, Excuses!

5.2 Is That ‘Reasonable’?

5.3 My Pet Dog Ate My Tax Return!

5.4 HMRC’s View

5.5 Agreeing To Disagree

5.6 Reliance On An Agent

5.7 Late Filing

5.8 Late Payment

6 Tax Return Errors – Is There A Reasonable Excuse?

6.1 Penalties – Let’s Be Reasonable!

6.2 Is That Reasonable?

6.3 Is ‘Negligence’ The Same As ‘Careless’?

6.4 Reliance On Agents

6.5 Failed Avoidance Schemes

7 Conclusion

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