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new P35 layout for Agent & Accountants

Now that online filing of payroll end-of-year returns is now compulsary for 99.99% of UK employers, the 'old' P35 layout is now out of date. If your Payroll software supplier were to ask you what you would like in its place, how would you reply? Would you find it useful to have an alternative layout with boxes for your clients signature for example. What additional fields / layouts/ features would the new form /report have to make things more efficient come year-end?

(To declare my interest - I ask from the view of a Payroll Software provider beginning with 'M' who are currently redesigning the P35 that their product produces, but who doesn't wish to abuse the forum with blatant advertising!)


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08th Feb 2012 12:07

Simple A4 layout

I'd like a simple A4 document and rather than trying to reproduce the old P35, warts and all, would just like a more comprehensible list of confirmations.  I'd also like to see the client information properly shown at the top of the page, i.e. employer name, PAYE and AO reference numbers, and year shown in the top header.  Client name and signature & date boxes in the bottom footer together with a sentence giving the accountant the authority to send the details to HMRC online.  In the main body, a reproduction of the standard questions & answers required by the online submission and a reference to a supplementary section showing the employee deductions and the other numeric fields, such as SSP etc.

One thing I don't like about Moneysoft (if that's what you're talking about) is the way that the employer name, references and year are "hidden" in the middle of the numerics page between parts 1 and 2 - I can't see any logic why it was printed there instead of as a footer or header.  There's nothing at all on the "signing" page to identify the client, so it's easy for them to get mixed up if you're doing a lot, and easy for pages 1 & 2 to get separated either in house or by the client, so you end up with a signed form, but have no idea which client it relates to if their signature isn't clear!

Despite online filing, it's still popular practice to send a substitute form to the client for signing to obtain client approval, so a P35 equivalent form is still needed.  Even if a practice emails or uses echosign for online approval, there's still a need for some kind of document outlining exactly what the client confirms and agrees to do.

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08th Feb 2012 15:58

Agree with Ken

Employer name on all pages please.  I have one client with two payrolls.  She scanned back the signed page for one payroll last year and I had no idea which one it was for.

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08th Feb 2012 12:42

Electronic signatures

Moving away from paper facsimilies or substitutes, I think one way forward would be the software producing a PDF with some inbuilt facility for electronic signature, which could then be emailed (or dropbox/etc) back to the agent.

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08th Feb 2012 15:38

I think I agree with Ken

The "new P35" should be properly headed on every page and it should not attempt to be a facsimile of the old P35 with all its mumbo jumbo - although I must admit that I shall be sorry to see the disappearance of Question 5 "Have you paid any of an employee's pay to someone other than the employee, for example to a school?", which harks back to a bygone era, if indeed it was ever relevant.

I do not know what confirmations are still required on the P35.  Questions 2, 3, 5 and probably, 4, are almost always answered No, but if it is required to include them, so be it.  Question 1 merely duplicates the first Declaration - would prefer whichever one is retained to be amended to include the number of P14s enclosed.  As Question 6 on service companies is particularly opaque to clients, we have always sent a separate questionnaire in plain English to the clients for them to sign.  It would be good if your "M" payroll could include something similar.

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08th Feb 2012 21:09

bygone era?

we have a client (actually, more than one) that pays his employees' children's school fees. Why is this so old fashioned?

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08th Feb 2012 22:07


I live in an area where the local comp gets better results than the local private schools - all of which are excellent.


Saving a small fortune I am

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16th Feb 2012 12:14

How about a box to tick

" This is a nil return"

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23rd Feb 2012 15:34

Thanks for the feedback - a couple of new P35 layouts are now available in our software. We are open to further suggestions /feedback regarding these.

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23rd Feb 2012 19:38


I had a look at the payroll software which we use, which coincidentally also starts with "M", and even more coincidentally notice two new P35 layouts.

I must say, they do look rather nice.

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