Birmingham-based chartered accountancy firm JW Hinks is advising employers that they could face in-year penalties next year if they fail to submit their Pay As You Earn (PAYE) returns on time.
The warning comes as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is starting to send out electronic notifications to employers who appear to be late submitting their Full Payment Submissions (FPS).
The messages are designed to help employers keep up to date with their PAYE obligations, to prepare the recipients to ensure that they are ready to submit all their PAYE returns on time from 6 April, when they could accrue penalties during the tax year, rather than only for late returns at the end of the year as is currently the case.
HMRC is also advising though that some employers may receive these notifications even if they have filed on time, because they have sent their FPS ahead of the tax year or where HMRC has received an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) before 14 October 2013 that reports a period of inactivity. Some employers may also currently fall within the various transitional PAYE reporting concessions.
Claire Richards, payroll manager at Edgbaston-based JW Hinks, said: “If you have received one of these notifications then now is the time to start taking steps to ensure that you will be able to submit your PAYE returns on time from 6 April. Otherwise you could find yourself facing penalties for each failure, not merely for filing late at the end of the tax year.
“If you are unsure of your PAYE obligations as an employer it is vital to seek professional advice at the earliest opportunity. One of the most effective ways to ensure your business is compliant may be to outsource your payroll. Although there will be a charge for this, it may well be less than the cost of keeping up to date with all the changes or getting it wrong, and leaves you free to concentrate on running your business, safe in the knowledge that the payroll is under control.”
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