HMRC are proposing to make changes to the current penalty regime, although for most the area of concern will be the penalty for late filing a Self Assessment Tax Return.
They acknowledge the current system indiscriminately issues penalties whether the return is one day late or 3 months late the penalty is the same. The appeals process is also against the taxpayer with HMRC allowing few appeals.

HMRC Change to Tax Return Late Filing Penalty
All this is changing, recently HMRC announced that they will accept pretty much any written appeal against a penalty. If you have received a late filing penalty, then you should write to HMRC with your reason for being late, they may well waive the penalty.

The proposed changes to the penalty system include introducing a points system, much the same as the points system for driving offences. Basically if you are late submitting a return to HMRC you will receive points, a warning of sorts. For persistent offenders the penalties will be increased, anyone who continually submits late returns or fails to submit any returns will face high penalties.

This should mean no penalty for first time or one off offenders.

We welcome HMRC’s move to bring in a fairer and more balanced penalty regime, while recognising the value of automated penalties. Although care needs to be taken that the elderly and vulnerable are not unduly penalised and those who have a genuine reason for missing a deadline.