Penalties for late real-time PAYE returns – HMRC have announced how automated in-year penalties for late real-time PAYE returns will be phased in.
The HMRC announcement says that:
Employers with fewer than 50 employees will face automated in-year penalties for late real-time PAYE returns from 6 March next year.
Those who employ 50 or more people will face penalties from 6 October 2014.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will send electronic messages to all employers shortly to let them know when the penalties will apply to them, based on the number of employees shown in the department’s records.
Ruth Owen, HMRC Director-General for Personal Tax, said:
”Real Time Information is working well. Our most recent figures show that over 95% of PAYE schemes making payments to individuals are successfully reporting in real time, and 70% say that it is easy to do. We know from our experience of rolling out of RTI that to ensure a smooth transition for our customers it’s best to introduce changes in stages. This will allow us to update our systems and enhance our guidance and customer support as needed. We know that those who have had most difficulty adjusting to real-time reporting have been small businesses, so this staged approach means they have a little more time to comply with the new arrangements before facing a penalty. We believe this is the best approach for HMRC and our customers, as we all get used to the new in-year penalties.”
Where employers believe they have a reasonable excuse for sending a return late, they will be able to appeal using HMRC’s new, online appeals process for automated penalties. This should speed up the appeal process for businesses and HMRC.
In the run up to March 2015, HMRC will examine other ways to encourage employers to comply with the rules, in addition to financial penalties.