A Freedom of Information request has revealed that the value of tax penalties rose by 25% between 2022 and 2023. The data also showed that HMRC issued £851 million in penalties between November 2022 and October 2023 – a significant rise from the figure of £681 million in 2021/22. The latest figure is the highest value on record for tax penalties. Experts have warned that the increase in penalties only piles further pressure on businesses and individuals already combating high interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis. Commenting on the matter, a spokesperson for HMRC said: ‘We’re committed to helping customers pay the tax they owe, on time. ‘We charge penalties to encourage customers to meet their obligations, while acting as a sanction for those who don’t. ‘If customers are unable to pay on time, they can contact us to discuss their options.’ Businesses and individuals struggling to pay their tax can enter into a Time to Pay arrangement if their tax debts are under £30,000. Such arrangements allow taxpayers to set up a payment plan in order to pay their tax in instalments.