HMRC have now issued the first in-year penalties notices to employers with fewer than 50 employees who missed the deadline for sending PAYE information to HMRC.
Rather than issue late filing penalties automatically when a deadline is missed, HMRC have announced that they will ‘take a more proportionate approach and concentrate on the more serious defaults on a risk-assessed basis.’
This approach is in line with the likely direction of HMRC’s general approach to penalties, outlined in the HMRC penalties: a discussion document which they issued earlier this year. HMRC have confirmed that this ‘risk-based’ approach will apply to submissions that were late from:
6 March 2015 for employers with fewer than 50 employees; and
6 January 2015 for employers with 50 or more employees.
Penalties for 2015/16 will also continue to be risk-based.
HMRC had previously announced that they will not be penalising minor delays of up to three days.
HMRC are reminding employers:
‘Even if employers do not get a penalty, they are required by law to file on time and if they do not may be charged a penalty on a future occasion. The deadlines for sending PAYE information stay the same, including the requirement to send PAYE information on or before the time that employees are actually paid or due to be paid.’
HMRC have confirmed the process employers should use to appeal a penalty using the using the Penalties and Appeals System (PAS) on HMRC Online. Employers who receive a late filing penalty notice for tax year 2014/15 quarter 4 but who filed within three days of the reporting deadline may appeal and should use reason code A as set out in the What happens if you don’t report payroll information on time guidance.
Please contact us if you would like help with your payroll.
HMRC checking employees have paid the correct amount of tax on their pay
HMRC have started to check that people have paid the right amount of tax in 2014/15, a process they refer to as the annual End of Year Reconciliation process.
They will be sending out forms P800 first which show details of the calculation showing the under or over payment. However, where an overpayment of PAYE has been made they should issue the cheque approximately two weeks later. For those who have underpaid tax for the year the P800 will detail how this tax will be collected, generally by adjustment of the PAYE tax code for 2016/17.
HMRC’s press release states:
‘This automated process ensures those who have had a change in circumstances during the last tax year (2014/15) that was not captured in their tax code have paid no more or less than they should. Any discrepancy could be because the taxpayer changed jobs, had more than one job for a time, a change of company car or received investment income that was not reported during the year.’
Where HMRC’s calculations show that the correct amount of tax has been paid for the year HMRC will not contact the individuals concerned. HMRC expect that the vast majority of PAYE taxpayers will have paid the right amount of tax for the year.
If you would like help reconciling your tax position please do get in touch.