A common technique of employers struggling with cashflow was to play a little fast and loose with the amount and timing of PAYE payments to HMRC. The usual ploy here was that until a P35 was filed at the end of the HMRC didn't know what was due.
And yes, new legislation had been introduced to allow HMRC to pursue you for non payment of monthly amounts. But that was always based on estimated liabiliies.
We fully expect that under RTI it will not be long before HMRC step up their debt collection processes to be charging interest and penalties on unpaid monthly PAYE/NI figures.
Quite right, you may say, debts should be settled as they fall due. We agree but in genuine cases where companies are running into difficulties, talking to HMRC early is your best option now. Our experience shows that engaging early can improve your chances of negotiating payment of arrears.
If you would like more information about RTI or would like to talk to one of our experts on dealing with HMRC please get in touch.