RSTP3001 - Penalties

Chapter 3 of the RSTPA 2014 legislation guidance covering the range of civil penalties which apply to Scotland’s devolved taxes.

It is important that the tax system for Scotland’s devolved taxes operates fairly and efficiently. We recognise that the vast majority of taxpayers want to comply with their obligations.

We have various powers (such as those covered elsewhere in RSTP1001) and RSTP2001) to help us check that taxpayers meet their tax responsibilities and pay the right amount of tax at the right time, to ensure that the taxes are operating as intended and to detect and to deter the minority who do not comply with their obligations.

To encourage compliance and deter non-compliance a range of fixed amount, daily and tax-geared (or percentage-calculated) civil penalties apply to the devolved taxes. We have the power in certain circumstances, and for certain penalties, to suspend, reduce or even waive a penalty.

We have recently updated the format of penalty letters we issue so that they are more accessible to taxpayers. An example of the revised letter is available here and a penalties factsheet providing useful explanatory information is also available to download.

This chapter provides guidance on the civil penalties regime which applies to the devolved taxes and which is contained throughout the RSTPA 2014 (but mainly Part 8 of that Act), including the assessment and enforcement rules underpinning each penalty.

You have the right to give a notice of review (see RSTP6006) or appeal (see RSTP6008) in relation to any decision of ours concerning a penalty.
You are not liable to any penalty in this guidance if you have already been convicted of an offence in relation to the same matter. This is known as the ‘double jeopardy’ rule.

RSTPA 2014 section 158

Unless indicated otherwise, in this chapter of guidance:

  • ‘we’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ means Revenue Scotland. ‘We’, ‘us’ or ‘our’ also means Registers of Scotland or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency where either is carrying out a function delegated to it by us under section 4 of the RSTPA 2014; and
  • ‘you’ or ‘your’ means a person who is liable to a penalty.

The guidance is structured as follows:

RSTPA guidance on penalties which a person may be liable to for failing to keep and preserve certain types of records.

RSTPA guidance on penalties that a person may be liable to for failing to comply with requirements in relation to reimbursement arrangements and claims.

RSTPA guidance on the penalty a person may be liable to for obstructing or not providing reasonable assistance at an investigation of computer records.

RSTPA guidance on the penalties which a person may be liable to for failing (or continuing to fail) to make a tax return on time.

RSTPA guidance on the penalties a person may be liable to for failing (or continuing to fail) to pay an amount of tax on or before the due payment date.

Overview of the RSTPA guidance on the penalties for inaccuracies in a taxpayer document.

RSTPA guidance on the penalty a person may be liable to for failing to notify Revenue Scotland about an under-determination or under-assessment of tax.

RSTPA guidance on the rules relating to the calculation of potential lost revenue in respect of penalties in RSTP3011, RSTP3012 and RSTP3013.

Overview of RSTPA guidance on the penalties a person may be liable to for failing to comply with an information notice or deliberately obstructing an inspection.

RSTPA guidance on the penalty a person may be liable to for failing to comply with a registration-related requirement for Scottish Landfill Tax.

RSTPA guidance on the penalty a third party may be liable to for failing to comply with a notice requiring the provision of the contact details of a debtor.

RSTPA guidance on the penalty a landfill operator may be liable to for failing to comply with the requirements regarding the weighing of waste for SLfT.

Overview of RSTPA guidance for Revenue Scotland discretionary powers in relation to penalties.

RSTPA guidance on the meaning of ‘reasonable care’ in relation to penalties for careless inaccuracies attributable to a failure to take reasonable care.