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RTI Penalties Around The Corner

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This tax year (2013/14) is the first year in which the majority of employers have submitted their PAYE data using real time information (RTI). HMRC has not yet imposed penalties for late RTI submissions made within the tax year, but that is about to change.

From 6 April 2014 penalties will start to accrue after the first failure in each of these situations:

  • filing a full payment submission (FPS) after the date of payment stated in that report;
  • failure to file an employer payment summary (EPS) showing a nil payment when required; and
  • failure to pay the PAYE due in full, and on time for a particular tax month.

Note that currently there is a concession for employers with fewer than 50 employees. If all the conditions apply they can file just one FPS by the end of the tax month, irrespective of the number of times they have paid employees in that month. This concession is due to end on 5 April 2014.

The penalties for late submissions will vary according to the number of employees on the payroll. The smallest payroll with up to 9 employees will suffer a £100 penalty for every month for which the FPS is filed late. Larger payrolls will be charged £200, £300 or £400 per month for the same failure, for up to 11 months per tax year. If the employees are paid more frequently than monthly, only one fixed penalty will be applied per month.

Where no payment has been made to employees in the month HMRC expect to receive an EPS reporting a nil payment, unless the PAYE scheme has been registered as 'annual'. If no nil EPS is received this will give rise to a penalty.

Penalties for late paid PAYE already apply, but such penalties have not been imposed so far. Late payment penalties are charged at 1% to 4% of the amount that is paid late for the tax month, with the penalty percentage increasing as the number of months of late payment mounts up in the tax year.

You will be informed that a penalty is potentially due by an automatic electronic message from HMRC. These messages are already being sent for late FPS, but they are just warnings at this stage. Other types of warning messages will commence in the next few weeks. Where a penalty is due for a tax month it will be imposed at the end of the tax quarter.

Please talk to us if you get any warning messages from HMRC, as we need to sort out why there is an apparent fault in submitting RTI reports or paying the right amount of PAYE.