RSTP3001 - Penalties

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

For information on Revenue Scotland’s approach to penalty activity during the COVID-19 pandemic, see COVID-19 Penalties & Debt

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: