Trinity Mirror wins VAT fine appeal

Trinity Mirror has successfully appealed against an HMRC penalty for being a day late with their VAT return and payment in 2008, saying they felt the charge was not compliant with EU principle of proportionality and considered it more severe than the gravity of the infringement warranted.

In the first tier tax tribunal, Judge Dr Kameel Khan ruled the surcharge as “disproportionate” and “plainly unfair” after HMRC imposed a £70,900 fine following the late filing and payment, which was equivalent to 2% of the aggregate value of its defaults.


Judge Dr Kameel Khan added there was little evidence to support HMRC’s position that dropping the fine would undermine the whole system, allowing large businesses to “pay their VAT late with immunity”.

The tribunal dismissed the fine!