Small businesses facing penalties for late real-time PAYE returns
14 October 2014
Businesses with less than 50 employees will experience automated penalties for late real-time PAYE returns from 6 March 2015.
Those companies who employ 50 or more people, however, will face in-year penalties from 6 October 2014 – and these penalties are set to be issued quarterly. They will be replacing the end-of-year penalties, which apply up to the 2013/14 tax year, and the Government is rolling out these changes in stages. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will soon be distributing electronic messages to all employers to indicate when the penalties will apply specifically to them.
Of course, HMRC accepts that there will be those employers who believe they have a reasonable excuse for sending a real-time PAYE return late, and hence gives employers the right to appeal. This is carried out using its new online appeals process for automated penalties. Those who have had the most difficulty in adjusting to real time reporting are generally small businesses. This is probably because this staged approach means they have little more time to comply with the new arrangements before facing a penalty. They also have limited resources and those resources are primarily geared towards serving their clients and customers.
It is good news to see HMRC recognising the challenges that small businesses face, but should you need specialist advice, then we are here to help.
If you would like further information, please email or call us on 0141 221 2984.