Are VAT officers taking their new penalty powers too seriously? Well, the fact that more than half of them are overturned on appeal would suggest so.
A Freedom of Information Act request shows that 16,270 penalties were reversed out of a total of 28,912. HMRC said that alot of these reversals were because it was found that the taxpayer has a reasonable excuse for their actions and that this does not mean that the penalties were incorrectly levied in the first place.
We say, don’t pay a penalty just because it has been charged. Seek advice as to whether or not you have grounds to overturn it.