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HMRC seeks views on tax penalties

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is asking for views on how it might strengthen the effectiveness of its penalties regime.


A discussion document published today is seeking views by 11 May about potential improvements to how HMRC applies penalties for failing to pay what is owed or to meet deadlines for returns or registration.

As HMRC designs a tax system for the modern, digital world, it wants to ensure that its approach to penalties also keeps up to date with both technology and behavioural science. HMRC is considering whether and how it should differentiate between those who deliberately and persistently fail to meet administrative deadlines or to pay what they should on time, and those who make occasional and genuine errors for which other responses might be more appropriate.

HMRC is looking for feedback from individuals and businesses. The purpose of the discussion is to seek views on the policy design and any suitable possible alternatives, before consulting later on a specific proposal for reform.

HMRC Penalties: a Discussion Document can be found at

Published 2 February 2015