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HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

HM Revenue & Customs
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Default Surcharge: Calculation and notification of the surcharge: Returns that are not received or received late

Returns that are not received

The surcharge amount is based on a central tax assessment when a trader incurs a liability to surcharge by failing to render a return. When a return subsequently replaces an assessment of tax the surcharge is recalculated and notified to the trader.


Returns that are received late

There is no liability to surcharge if

  • a nil or repayment return is submitted late, or
  • the tax due is paid on time but the return is submitted late.

A default will be recorded and a SLNE issued, but there will be no increase in the rate of surcharge.