§ Mr. Michael Brown
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his reply to the hon. Member for Brigg and Scunthorpe, Official Report, 18 February, c. 141, what the average level of penalty imposed by the courts for failure to make a value added tax return on time or late payment of value added tax was on the nine occasions up to 31 December 1980 when courts imposed penalties which were higher than could have been imposed prior to the Finance Act 1980; what average maximum fine could have been imposed on these nine occasions; what the average maximum penalty is that could have been imposed on these occasions prior to the Finance Act 1980; and whether Her Majesty's Customs and Excise will be 24W submitting evidence concerning the new higher rate of penalties to the Lord Keith Committee on enforcement powers to revenue departments.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
The average level of penalty imposed by the courts in the nine cases in question was £1,395. The average maximum fine that could have been imposed was £5,717. The average maximum fine that could have been imposed prior to the Finance Act 1980 was £730. Customs and Excise submitted evidence on VAT penalties generally, including comment on the higher rate introduced by the Finance Act 1980, to the committee on enforcement powers of revenue departments in August 1980. Memorandum No. 1 containing this evidence was released for publication on 29 January 1981.