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Is there a fine for not fling a NIL quarterly PAYE/NI return?

Please be aware that if you have no payments to make in a tax month (or quarter, if you pay every three months), you will be required to inform us by way of a nil declaration, to avoid penalties arising.

This text is in the HMRC e-mail I've just had for a new client I've set up as an employer.  I've never filed a nil PAYE return before (as opposed to a nil CIS one, of which I have filed many.)  I've seen nothing on my CPD courses etc. about there being a change.  I can't see anything on the HMRC website either.

Is it true?  If so, where is this stated and how much is the fine?

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No - it is not true

It is not a nil PAYE Return on which, like the CIS Monthly Return or the P35 - Employer's Annual PAYE Return, there is a penalty for late or non-submission.  It is merely a notification that no PAYE payment is due, which you can do online.

The only penalties with regard to PAYE payments are the surcharges from 1% to 4% of the amounts paid late and any % of nil can only be nil.

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I agree, whew! So yet another contradictory statement from HMRC to new employers:

 

Please be aware that if you have no payments to make in a tax month (or quarter, if you pay every three months), you will be required to inform us by way of a nil declaration, to avoid penalties arising.

Note this is in an e-mail to a PAYE non-CIS client.

 

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