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Did we file too early?

Did we file too early?

Did we file our payroll end of year info (P35 and P14s) too early?

Our last payroll run was around 18th March and we completed the year end on 21st March.  This included online filing - and we got an acknowledgement from HMRC that all was successful.

Now received a reminder dated 29th April that we must file by19th May, or penalties will start.

(Of course, we can't speak to HMRC today - there are staff on strike.  And the phones will be busy tomorrow from today's backlog).

What really annoys is the time wasted on things like this, which includes the difficulty in being able to communictae with HMRC.

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10th May 2012 13:55

Received 9 of the same type letters today dated 29 April 2012..
... I also tried to phone but with no sussess. So I went into my HMRC system and you can obtain and print off a list of your employer clients with the box "Previous year filed" and these are completed as "yes". I checked these to my 9 letters and have filed this list for a later date. This together with an email from the government gateway and also confirmation of receipt from my payroll software (Payroll manager), would hopefully support the fact that I have done all I can. Also thankfully, your post, means that I am not the only one in the same boat and therefore I will also print this post as additional evidence of my effort to get things resolved but with no success.

Does really annoy me when HMRC systems are churning out these letters with no intervention at the overall cost of the taxpayer.

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10th May 2012 14:14

I agree

We also filed all our EOY returns (in early April) but have had numerous letters come through - which initially made us feel like we had missed something out. After double checking, we found that all have been filed correctly.

Like @chesterfield, think we'll take extra prints of filing references, etc for our client files. Very annoying waste of time.

And there will no doubt be a number of erroneous £400 penalties issued in August, won't there!

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By Luke
10th May 2012 14:31

Yes, just received today
Same here. Client eoy returns were filed in late March and show online as previous year filed. Good to know we're not alone.

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10th May 2012 14:41

HMRC incompetence

We have just started receiving these.  But the most annoying thing, which is something that also happened last year, HMRC have randomly closed a good number of those schemes where we filed early.  We have had all sorts on problems trying to sort this out, including telling them in no uncertain terms how to do their job.  We even got the AAM involved and he was as useful as a chocolate teapot.  Spent hours on it.  What a waste of time.

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10th May 2012 15:11

lunatics running the asylum

23/03/2012 - send in nil P35 for client via HMRC online structured email

29/04/12 (A Sunday) - receive an email from HMRC thanking me for email over a month ago - and telling me that a P35 is not required as the scheme is closed.

10/05/12 - receive a letter from HMRC dated 29/04/12 (a Sunday) telling me I need to file a P35 by 19/05/12 ?????

 

And yet they press ahead with RTI ???

 

 

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10th May 2012 15:11

Filing early is definitely permitted

Yes, you should have no problems filing early and it would be sensible for HMRC to not send reminders out to those who already filed. Ah, see what I did there?

HMRC should only take early filing to be a "cessation" if the filing explicitly states that it is one (there is an option, not supported by all payroll software, to include a cessation date on the P35 where the scheme is being shut down and clearly this is often filled in on "early" filings, ie those which are actually ceasing)

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10th May 2012 15:26

Filing early is definitely permitted

I know, tell me about it.  We went through all of this with those idiots.  Many times.  Last year and this....

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By sjn01
10th May 2012 18:58

No P35 required

We have also received reminder letters for clients where the P35 has been filed - as well as two reminder letters for clients where we used HMRC's website notification that no P35 is due - has anyone else had this or should we be worried?

 

 

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By DMGbus
10th May 2012 19:19

P35 reminders

The reminders that I received today were dated 29th April.

HMRC seem to either use an unusual postal service that takes 11 days or (more likely) tell lies as to the date that post is issued.

Therefore P35 filings that I did on 4th May received reminders.

 

Turning to "No P35 due" online notifications my understanding is that HMRC store these on receipt then deal with them in July, so their computer will not "know" until July that there's no P35 due.

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10th May 2012 21:22

They don't lie about the date

"HMRC seem to either use an unusual postal service that takes 11 days or (more likely) tell lies as to the date that post is issued."

I used to think they were telling lies but they do use an unusual postal service!

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By sjn01
11th May 2012 07:34

to DMGbus
Many thanks for the information about the July update. I guess I can expect to receive penalty notices and then have to tell HMRC to cancel them - eventually....

And yes, the letters all took 11 days to get here, too.

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By DMGbus
11th May 2012 13:48

Today's development...

Received a P35 filing reminder dated 29th April for a P35 filed online on 26th April (and I hold an eMail back for  the P35 filing also dated 26th April "successfully received").

This makes the "29th April" reminder date even more of a fiction.

I get the impression that in many cases the dates on HMRC correspondence is not date of issue but more like a "date we thought about issuing it".  Or the date one department sends an instruction to another department to send out correspondence.

 

 

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11th May 2012 15:54

HMRC and dates

I was talking to somebody in the VAT office in Grimsby. They said that when they write a letter to somebody it get printed out in Birmingham and then sent internally to Grimsby to be signed and then posted using their very slow postal system.

The date on the letter is the date of typing.

I get the impression that HMRC staff are frustrated about the system but they have learnt to accept all these weird inefficient ways.

 

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14th May 2012 09:50

Further discussion in Working Together eGroup

Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

Members of our online Working Together group have also raised this issue, which Rebecca Benneyworth explained is a side effect of HMRC's efforts to minimise the September £400 penalty scenario.

Since HMRC is unable to ascertain who should have filed end of year returns but didn't until much later in the year, it agreed with representatives of the tax bodies that sending out carefully worded general alerts in late April (with June follow-ups) was the best way to reach the laggards.

"It is cheaper to mail everyone (provided the tone of the letter is correct) than to pick through and sort out the ones who need one," she explained.

The post system may be cheap, but the time lag (and lack of true real time data) continue to undermine the department's effectiveness.

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14th May 2012 11:39

Further discussion in Working Together eGroup

Yes but John, this only covers those that filed later.  What about those of us who filed pre 5 April and are also getting these reminders?

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14th May 2012 11:45

John . . . . I hear what you are saying too but . . . . I also got one of these letters (I have an email confirmation of successful receipt and have checked the website and that confirms acceptance) so I felt a little aggrieved but the thing that annoyed me most was that their letter didn't even have an address! How is one supposed to reply to a letter when one isn't even sure which particular office sent it? Kids fail their GCSE's for pathetic omissions like this.

Chris.

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14th May 2012 11:56

We were all filed by 5 April too.....

...........and have received reminders for all our clients. One lucky client with a nil return has received two reminders in spite of a phone call to verify that the information had been received (but not processed for a further month).

This wastes my time doublechecking that everything has been done properly (which it has) and that we do not have a system failure in addition to calls to HMRC.

I am expecting to have to waste more time appealing lots of penalties as HMRC don't seem to be able to get their act together.

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14th May 2012 12:31

EOY filing + using Basic Tools
Hi John + All,

Interesting comment from HMRC "It is cheaper to mail everyone .... " and my thoughts:-

1. When they state it is cheaper, cheaper for who!? Do they take into account the subsequent number of calls from clients to their agents and to the HMRC helpdesk and the amount of confusion and uneccessary anxiety amongst businesses and the total time lost by all.
2. If they intend to send out a similar letter next year to everyone could I suggest they revise the letter to include: "If you have submitted your return and received a Correlation ID then this letter does not apply" or similar".
3. On receiving this letter I logged on to the HRMC online system to check the 2012 EOY filing status but it showed 'nil'. In previous years my EOY returns where completed by logging on to the HMRC online system but this year the HMRC Basic Tools software package was used.
Just to make everyone aware - If you use the HMRC Basic Tools software package to submit an EOY return then a successful submission will not show online as the two systems are not 'linked', as informed by the HMRC online support team. The only way you can check if it was successfully submitted is to open up Basic Tools, click 'Employer Database then click 'Online Submission'. This will display all previous successful submissions, including the Correlation ID, using the Basic Tools package.

Regards
SteveB

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14th May 2012 13:04

Update after speaking to HMRC

After 11 attempts, I finally got through to HMRC on the phone (as stated above by Chris, there was no address on the letter).

I was told letters had been sent out to everyone as the level of late filing penalties was very high last year.

Ok - so we're fortunate to be able to share our knowledge and realise the letter doesn't apply to us.  But as SteveB said, what about the wasted time by UK plc overall?  Businesses have more important priorities than following up HMRC's administrative procedures (polite words substituted here).

Isn't this in danger of a 'cry wolf' situation for future reminders - which could be ignored as a result?

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14th May 2012 14:04

Not received one for all my clients

If they have sent this letter out to everyone, another concern for me is why haven't I received one for everyone of my clients I act as agent for? Or is it a case that they are not posting 100% of the letters they believe they are sending? If i look at the percentage of clients I have received it for and the clients I have on my online agent, it works out to be less than 40% of letters that I received. Where are all the other letters that have been sent out?

Cheaper for whom? Certainly not the enviroment!

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14th May 2012 14:37

Other letters

They will still be in the postal system. Don't worry you'll get them in the next month or two.

I wonder how people think at HMRC. They set up a system that doesn't allow them to know who's filed until a long time after. That is madness. They decide that they need to send reminders out. They think that they won't know who has not filed. Instead of changing the system so they know who as filed - Is it that difficult? Surely they should have considered it when designing the system? - they decide to send reminders to everybody. This causes a lot of confusion and it results in people ignoring the reminders in future because it can't be relied on. What should people do? Try to file a P35 just in case HMRC don't realise it has already been filed? 

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14th May 2012 14:39

It doesn't make sense

I thought it was impossible to file a P35 twice. I also thought that HMRC say they are not able to know who has filed. These are contradictory.

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14th May 2012 15:31

In Engineering Circles ...

.. this sort of thing is known as "fitness for purpose."  Generally it is combined with knowing who your real customers are.  Appears from what others have said not to have been a consideration for HMRC.

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By cfield
14th May 2012 18:53

A reaction to the FTT decisions maybe

Maybe it's because they lost a number of FTT cases last year over the £400 penalty notices they send out after 4 months.

I believe as part of the fallout from this they vowed to remind people so no one could accuse them of deliberately waiting until then.

Obviously they opted for the scattergun approach and just remind everyone so nobody would have that excuse any more.

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Comptable
15th May 2012 14:58

I'm not sure HMRC have come up with a sensible solution

cfield wrote:

Maybe it's because they lost a number of FTT cases last year over the £400 penalty notices they send out after 4 months.

I believe as part of the fallout from this they vowed to remind people so no one could accuse them of deliberately waiting until then.

Obviously they opted for the scattergun approach and just remind everyone so nobody would have that excuse any more.

The reminders do indicate that a P35 is wanted in case it was not known but what should agents due? Check every reminder to confirm what has been filed and what has not been filed? This reduces the confidence in the reminders.

HMRC should know immediately when a P35 has been filed. How can they say they don't? HMRC mean they can't be bothered to do what it takes to find out.

HMRC should only issue reminders to employers/agents when P35s are outstanding.

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15th May 2012 09:04

Just another thing HMRC just cannot do correct.....

..... yet they expect us agents to be able to work miricles with very short deadlines for lots of clients (CIS monthly returns is a classic example and the new real time information will be as well) with absolutely no thought from HMRC about our workloads or work stresses.

Its about time that we agents and all small businesses had a union (not the professional bodies that are as useless as HMRC) that would work with us and try and resolve our pay and CONDITIONS disputes with HMRC.

 

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15th May 2012 13:06

civil action?

This is the sort of stuff that causes damage to client relationships. Somebody should take civil action for loss of income when a client leaves a practice after garbage like this.

Chris.

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17th May 2012 16:49

Still waiting to receive the remainder 60% + letters

Is anyone else in the same position where they have not received all the reminders? I received about 40% so am still (with 2 days to go) awaiting the delivery of over 60% letters. Its not just 1 or 2.

So another question, has HMRC sent out letters to EVERYONE, or have they sent of some and said they have sent them out to everyone. This would be cheaper than actually sending 100% out and by all sounds it is a cost cutting exercise on HMRC's behalf.

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