Market leading insight for tax experts
View online issue

HMRC targets ‘deliberate’ errors

printer Mail

There was a marked increase during 2017/18 in the number of penalties HMRC issued for ‘deliberate and concealed’ inaccuracies in returns.  This category, which allows HMRC to charge a penalty of up to 100% of the amount of tax at stake, saw an increase of 46% between 2016/17 and 2017/18. The number of penalties for ‘deliberate’ inaccuracies, for which HMRC can charge up to 70% of the tax at stake, rose by 2%.

HMRC issued a total of more than 36,700 penalties in both the ‘deliberate’ and ‘deliberate and concealed’ categories in 2017/18, more than double the number five years ago, according to the specialist insurer, PfP.

Kevin Igoe, managing director at PfP, commented: ‘HMRC can levy significant charges through accusing taxpayers of making “deliberate” errors on their tax returns, which improves the overall return on its compliance work’.

‘The number of “deliberate” penalties imposed has been increasing for several years now’, Igoe added. ‘This rise coincides with a fall in penalties imposed for “careless” errors, which tend to result in a less severe fine. Indeed, the rise in “deliberate” penalties doesn’t necessarily mean a rise in errors’.