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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: When does the Surcharge Liability Period expire

A trader’s liability to surcharge expires if all the returns and payments for tax periods ending on or before the end of the period covered by the SLN/SLNE are received on time.

In effect, this means that 4 quarterly returns and payments need to be made on time to exit the surcharge system.