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HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

Breach of VAT Regulatory Provisions: Action to take with Regulatory Penalties: Double Jeopardy

A penalty must not be applied when a failure is penalised under one of the following provisions of the VAT Act 1994, where a person is

  • convicted of an offence (whether under this Act or otherwise)
  • assessed to a surcharge under section 59 or 59A, or
  • assessed to a penalty under section 60 or 63.

A person may be liable for a surcharge, civil evasion penalty, see VCP10300, or misdeclaration penalty but if the surcharge or penalty is not assessed they will still be liable for the regulatory penalty.

Note: In most circumstances a penalty under section 60 or section 63 would be considered before the regulatory penalty and would attract a higher penalty.

If the regulatory penalty is assessed before the civil evasion penalty or misdeclaration penalty is considered it can be withdrawn and replaced by the civil evasion or misdeclaration penalty. You should check VISION to ensure an investigation is not being conducted (where a civil evasion penalty may be under consideration) before making a regulatory penalty assessment.