Both abatement and mitigation mean ‘reduction’ in everyday speech, but they have distinct meanings in the context of our penalties which should be observed to avoid confusion.

(i) ‘Abatement is a before thing’

Abatement is the exercise, when dealing with a maximum-amount penalty (see EM4506), of taking that maximum and reducing it for Disclosure, Co-operation and Seriousness.

Abatement is HMRC's method of arriving at the appropriate level for the penalty in any particular case, within the statutory maximum.

Abatement derives from TMA70/S100(1).

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