Servebet Ltd - Penalty reduction - A lesson for all

May 2015

Penalty - whether 'deliberate and concealed'.

The appellant had claimed VAT on a quotation for prospective works to a commercial property.

HMRC issued a penalty in the amount of £14,773 (75% of the tax in error).

On appeal the Tribunal accepted that the appellant had acted 'carelessly' rather than deliberately.  The penalty was reduced to £3,545.

HMRC's attitude to penalties has hardened over the last few years.  The facts of this case are less important than the lesson that it is always worth taking HMRC on over the issue of penalties. HMRC generally have to prove they have acted reasonably when issuing penalties - something which is often difficult for them to prove.

If you need to discuss any aspect of this case in more detail please do not hesitate to contact us.

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