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HMRC internal manual

VAT Civil Penalties

Mitigation Framework: What is the Mitigation Framework: The law

The legal provisions for mitigation of penalties are contained in Section 70 of the VAT Act 1994

“70(1) Where a person is liable to a penalty under section, 60, 63,64, 67, or 69A, or under paragraph 10 of Schedule 11A of the VAT Act 1994 the Commissioners or, on appeal, a tribunal may reduce the penalty to such amount (including nil) as they think proper.

70(2) In the case of a penalty reduced by the Commissioners under subsection (1) above, a tribunal, on an appeal relating to the penalty, may cancel the whole or any part of the reduction made by the Commissioners.

70(3) None of the matters specified in subsection (4) below shall be matters which the Commissioners or any tribunal shall be entitled to take into account in exercising their powers under this section.

70(4) Those matters are

(a) The insufficiency of the funds available to any person for paying VAT due or for paying the amount of the penalty.

(b) The fact that there has, in the case in question or in the case taken with any other cases, been no or no significant loss of VAT.

(c) The fact that the person liable to the penalty or a person acting on his behalf has acted in good faith.”