Surcharges and penalties in UK tax law


This paper reviews the tax penalties' regime in the UK, in the context of a general anti-evasion policy. It argues that the global economic crisis has had a significant impact in the UK surcharges and penalties system, intensifying the process initiated before, towards a much tougher regime. This new approach can be explained party on the basis of traditional considerations, such of deterrence and punishment; there is the suspicion, however, that it may be also based on other considerations, namely as an additional source of revenue, or as compensatory measure for the revenue lost through fraud. It concludes that tax penalties whose ratio is no longer (solely) deterrence are disproportionate, and as such, contrary to EU law, and the ECHR.