Written by Richard Rowell
Published on May 13, 2009

Another 19th May approaches fast and our clients P35's are almost all filed. And we are already starting the planning for the 2009/10 year.

What conclusions can we draw for 2008/09. Well again we feel that as a payroll bureau we have been let down by HMRC. We have had a significant number of issues with HMRC as usual this year. These have included

  • Server failures
  • Overwhelming of the filing portal
  • Unhelpful staff

On the many occasions that we have contacted HMRC they are usually unhelpful and when quizzed on the speed of the online filing service usually reply by saying you should file after 10pm and before 6am.

Now, I can't be alone in thinking this but HMRC set the filing rules. With roughly 30 million employees in the UK and a 6 week timeframe for filing that means that on average 1 million employee earning records will be filed per day. HMRC know these figures and yet their IT systems and the filing gateway seems to be taken by surprise each year and is overwhelmed.

As a payroll bureau are in a peculiar position, we are filing hundreds of P35's for tens of thousands of customers. Why are we being asked to file returns at these unsociable hours. It seems ridiculous that HMRC have a shortfall in either their bandwidth available or IT infrastructure such that it takes an average 40 minutes to file one return during the week.

Conclusion - HMRC must try harder for payroll bureaus next year