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HMRC toughening up on RTI late submissions with penalties …. even if not correct

HMRC toughening up on RTI late submissions with penalties …. even if not correct
Paul Chappell
Written by
Monday, 26 November 2018 07:43

Since the introduction of Real Time Information (RTI) for PAYE in April 2013, HMRC have allowed a large amount of leeway for late submission of weekly, fortnightly, 4 weekly and monthly reports of payroll information.

Now the system has well and truly bedded in, penalties for late submission of Full Payment Submissions (FPS) and Employer Payment Summary’s (EPS) are regularly raised by HMRC.

What to do to avoid penalties

As a reminder, an FPS must be submitted to HMRC on or before a payment, if it is to an employee. This is generally the net payment date, I say normally because care must be taken with advances of salary. An EPS, notifying HMRC of any amendments to the amount payable to HMRC (for instances statutory payments), must be submitted by the 19th of the following tax month.

Have you received a letter from HMRC? It may not be accurate!

November has seen a program of letters issued by HMRC headed ‘Pay as You Earn (PAYE) payroll submissions’ warning that their records show that the employer has made FPS submissions later than payment dates. The letter warns of penalties for late submissions.

We have challenged one such letter received by a client, we process the payroll and ensure that all submissions to HMRC are made by the appropriate deadlines. HMRC have confirmed that all is in order with the clients account and the letter can be disregarded.

This is all well and good, however this is a letter that has been issued automatically by HMRC’s PAYE computer. The computer should know that the returns have all been submitted on time, it should not be necessary for a call to be made to HMRC for an officer of HMRC to advise that all is in order.

So what do I recommend clients do if such a letter is received? Contact HMRC without delay for confirmation that all is in order. Assuming it is, make a note of the call, the date and time, and ask for the name of the HMRC officer you speak to. This will be the defence should HMRC issue and erroneous penalty. HMRC do make errors, be on your guard!

Paul Chappell

Paul joined Dataplan from HM Revenue and Customs in 2007 and runs our PAYE compliance and investigation services.

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