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HMRC internal manual

Enquiry Manual

SA Surcharge: Relationship to Penalties


TMA70/S59C only applies to the 2009-10 tax year, and any previous tax year.

See CH155000+ for 2010-11 and subsequent tax years

SA surcharges are in effect, but not name, penalties for failure to pay on time.

Surcharges are “fixed” in amount, not the “maximum” type. They are fixed by a formula: they are “tax-geared”.

Just as TMA70/S97A prevents two tax-geared penalties on the same tax, S59C(4) prevents a surcharge on tax to which a tax-geared penalty - TMA70/S7(8), S93(5), S95, S95A, FA07/Sch24 - has been charged.

It follows that contemplation of a small percentage penalty loading in a case where 10% surcharges have already been incurred, and probably already charged by the computer program, may not be a cost-effective use of resources, since imposition of the penalty would require cancellation of the surcharges.

  • Like all penalties, and unlike interest, surcharges can be appealed, EM4108.
  • As for all fixed-amount penalties, the tribunal can - on specified conditions - confirm surcharges or set them aside but not alter the percentage loadings (which have been fixed by statute), EM4108.
  • Like all failure penalties surcharges can be successfully appealed on grounds of reasonable excuse, though they have their own conditions, EM4109.
  • Like all penalties, surcharges can at the HMRC’s discretion (not a matter for appeal) be mitigated, EM4111.