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HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

Incorrect certificates to zero-rating and lower rate supplies: Discretion, reasonable excuse and mitigation: Discretion

Civil penalties are compliance tools and there to encourage compliance.

You should consider the following before you notify any civil penalty and at the review stage of any formal or informal appeal.

When should a penalty be imposed, see VCP11341.

Who should be penalised, see VCP11342.

It is important in any appeal case that you can show you have given thorough consideration to all aspects of the case.

HMRC has discretion whether or not to assess any penalty, interest or surcharge.

In any case you consider the following is very important

  • Maintain fairness and impartiality when applying civil penalties.
  • Consider all the circumstances of the particular case.
  • Never forget that the fundamental objective of civil penalties is to encourage traders to be compliant.