Employers will not incur penalties for late PAYE information


HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced employers will not incur penalties for delays of up to three days in filing pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) information.

HMRC has advised that any employer that has received an in-year late filling penalty for the period 6 October 2014 to 5 January 2015 and was three days late or less, should appeal online by completing the ‘Other’ box and add “return filed within three days”.

Late payment penalties will continue to be reviewed on a risk-assessed basis rather than be issued automatically.

HMRC has also published a consultation seeking views about improvements to the way in which penalties apply for failing to pay what is owed or to meet deadlines for returns or registration.

It is considering whether it should differentiate penalties between employers that deliberately and persistently fail to meet deadlines to pay what they should on time, and those that make occasional and genuine errors for which other responses might be appropriate.

Following the consultation, HMRC will review the operation of the changes to PAYE penalties by 5 April 2016.

It is also closing around 15,000 PAYE schemes that have not made a PAYE report since April 2013 and which appeared to have ceased.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees have also been reminded that PAYE late filing penalties will apply to them from 6 March.

Its consultation paper stated: “We know that the vast majority of [employers] meet their obligations in full and on time, and that penalties are only applied to a small minority of people and businesses.

“We want to make sure our approach works as well as possible. This is why we want to consider whether we could better differentiate between deliberate and persistent non-compliers and those that might make an occasional error for whom alternative interventions are more appropriate.”