Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Misdeclaration penalty: Discretion, reasonable excuse, and mitigation: Pressure of work

Please note: VAT Misdeclaration Penalty has been replaced by the Schedule 24 inaccuracy penalty for all accounting periods where the return period commences on or after 01/04/2008 and the due date is on or after 01/04/2009. Misdeclaration penalty will still apply where the due date is before 01/04/2009.

Please see the Compliance Handbook CH80000 Penalties for Inaccuracies for further details.

The following questions should be addressed when considering reasonable excuse

  • Was this foreseeable such as the end of a financial year, the company moving premises, staff shortages/changes, periods of leave etc?
  • Were contingency plans made?
  • Is the trader involved in annual seasonal variations?
  • What steps had been taken to ensure that the tax affairs were properly managed?