P35 reminders

This morning I received 7 reminders for various clients to file P35's before the 19 May deadline. I suppose I should be grateful that I get these reminders but they were dated 29 April and in all but one case I had already filed the reports. The exception is a client that HMRC was informed 2 years ago had stopped trading and wouldn't be operating a payroll.

Calls from clients and discussions with colleagues make it evident that this was a mass mailing and that because it was mailed (!) nearly 2 weeks ago the majority of recipients will have already filed.

I am appalled at the sheer waste of paper and postage and believe that with the present economic conditions, this waste is unacceptable and the result of incompetence.

I wrote a few weeks ago about the need for HMRC to make more use of email and this proves the point as these notices are not, and do not need to be secure. 

How much could have been saved?  

Comments

P35 reminders

debrahuzzard | | Permalink

Same here and doubtless many offices up and down the country. Totally agree with your post.

And me!

david wilks | | Permalink

I have also received reminders in respect of P35's already filed.

I intend ignoring such items and will happily present the evidence of filing on time to a court of law if needs be.

No wonder HMRC ran out of paper and why should they care about the postage? It's not their money they are spending, it is ours.

Years ago there was a discussion as to by how much the rate of income tax could be reduced if the black economy was eliminated. Perhaps the discussion should be widened to incorporate the money wasted by HMRC?

johnjenkins's picture

Do we really

johnjenkins | | Permalink

expect anything else from D & N Clown & co.

Every day in every way it's getting worser and worser.

petersaxton's picture

Who comes up with these ideas?

petersaxton | | Permalink

It's good that they are sending reminders. It gives people a chance to deal with any issues.

As you say it's spoilt by the fact they are so out of date. This is to do with the ridiculous post methods the HMRC uses. As you also say, given they could easily send by email it is made even worse. Why do they send some documents to agents to their web page (eg P9s) and others by paper? It seems they save money on cutting what is needed only to waste it on what is not needed.

carnmores's picture

its more of a waste of time than paper

carnmores | | Permalink

we should look forward to having our inboxes rammed full of junk mail from HMRC - comomg to an email account near you very soon

Only seven?

rkpgreen | | Permalink

I have received around 120 reminders this morning.  However, you would have thought they could aggregate the letters into one bundle per "agent" like they used to do the Agent Copy SA Statements.

HMRC is of course covering itself in case of appeals against £400 fines later in the year.

10 reminders this morning dated April 29th

cbp99 | | Permalink

in 6 different envelopes.

BigBadWolf's picture

lunatics running the asylum

BigBadWolf | | Permalink

 

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 ???

RebeccaBenneyworth's picture

Arrgh! This was to deal with the P35 penalties

RebeccaBenneyworth | | Permalink

These are very welcome indeed and are well worded. The principle is that some employers who are not IT literate have appealed against penalties stating that they did not know that they had to complete one (as they don't access their electronic mailbox). These appeals were in general upheld so HMRC needed to do something to alert these employers. 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, and in any event, it is not possible for HMRC to kow what is filed and what isn't until much later in the year (hence £400 initial penalties) because of the systems for processing P35's. Representatives of accountants in practice agreed that this was a good way to go to prevent unsuspecting employers from getting big penalties.
There will be a further letter in early June warning those who "appear" not to have filed by then that they have a £100 penalty and need to get moving to avoid further penalties - again to stop the first word being £400. HMRC has worked hard with the profession to deal with something which has been difficult for employers. Please try to see it in that light guys!

petersaxton's picture

Rebecca's post

petersaxton | | Permalink

RebeccaBenneyworth wrote:
These are very welcome indeed and are well worded. The principle is that some employers who are not IT literate have appealed against penalties stating that they did not know that they had to complete one (as they don't access their electronic mailbox). These appeals were in general upheld so HMRC needed to do something to alert these employers. 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, and in any event, it is not possible for HMRC to kow what is filed and what isn't until much later in the year (hence £400 initial penalties) because of the systems for processing P35's. Representatives of accountants in practice agreed that this was a good way to go to prevent unsuspecting employers from getting big penalties. There will be a further letter in early June warning those who "appear" not to have filed by then that they have a £100 penalty and need to get moving to avoid further penalties - again to stop the first word being £400. HMRC has worked hard with the profession to deal with something which has been difficult for employers. Please try to see it in that light guys!

Can't HMRC ask employers how they want communications? If they don't access their electronic mailbox they can say "paper" whereas accountants can say "electronically" if they do use their mailbox. Please let's not have a system where we have to search for these communications like we do with P9s. That is ridiculous.

With computers it should take no time at all to identify who wants paper copies.

If HMRC don't know what is filed and what isn't filed until much later then I have two points:

1 HMRC should change their systems, and

2 Why should HMRC penalise employers for something they are incapable of doing themselves? Even taking into account we are talking about one employer as opposed to many for HMRC. HMRC should be able to design their systems better than every employer.

It is good that HMRC sends out reminders and penalties more promptly but it just causes more confusion when it takes a long time for them to reach their destination. Can you imagine what my clients would think if I chased them for data or payment long after I had received it?

Penalty regimes

wblewis | | Permalink

Rebecca, with all due respect you have highlighted the heart of the problem, HMRC should not try and enforce penalties in cases where there systems are demonstrably inadequate. I believe that sending out these reminders was a poorly thought out attempt to cover up for systems and procedures that were not fit for purposes. Surely it would have been better to spend the money on fixing the systems. 

I have for the last year battled with HMRC on penalties assessed for failure to submit nil CIS returns. I have won every appeal because the penalty system was unenforceable, is this another example?

Reminders were a month too late

debrahuzzard | | Permalink

Accept Rebecca's point but these reminders should have been sent out a good 5 weeks earlier. We all know that the clients who are always late with everything always will be and will ignore letters from HMRC. The "good" clients for whom we have already filed P35s in good time first reaction on getting such a reminder will be to phone their accountant concerned that "they thought we had already submitted the P35, was there something wrong with it?" Yet more unchargeable time we have to spend calming the client down all because of HMRCs late delivery. If these letters had actually been received by clients just before 5 April, this would all have been avoided.

petersaxton's picture

Several reminders

petersaxton | | Permalink

There should be several timely reminders based on the current status and arriving quickly. One or two reminders are not sufficient. The problem is that most employers will do a P35 before the deadline but the problem is caused when there is some confusion about whether a P35 is needed. If HMRC are going to send sufficient reminders it would be more cost effective to send as many as possible by email.

Several reminders

johnster | | Permalink

I have had a reminder for every one of my payrolls, 102 in total. I filed most of the P35s in late Feb and the rest in March or early April. All were done by 10 April, yet still the stupid reminders.

I have date stamped all in and sent them back to the idiots in Liverpool witha comp slip saying all were filed months ago and to get their act together. I agree thoroughly, a total waste of time and resource. However, that s not new for the Revenue, is it?

Oh, I might have forgotten to add any postage to their envelope though, so they'll have to pick up the tab for that one!

rockallj's picture

P35 reminders

rockallj | | Permalink

P35 reminders SHOULD IMO be posted, but they should only be sent to those who have failed to file at that point and not two weeks previously, as all reminders are for P35s which were filed within the 2 weeks between 29 April and when the remiders were actually posted out!

 

I believe that this is particular probelm for those of us who file through third party software, or those nil returns. Those filed by HMRC online software do not appear to have been unnecessarily chased. I am happy to be corrected on that last point though!

P35 reminders

johnster | | Permalink

Give it a year or so and they won't be happening at all. WIth RTI no P35s are ever going to be needed again (unless they are late ones for pervious years). Happy days - eh!

petersaxton's picture

HMRC are imaginitive

petersaxton | | Permalink

HMRC will find plenty that they can do wrong with RTI!

not so hot under the collar

Huw Williams | | Permalink

We have received most of these reminders in the office and duly filed them.  A pain, but not a big problem.

One client did receive one and it has reminded him to sort out the P35 - I don't mind that.

Yes, I agree HMRC systems could be perfect and we would not have so much wasted paper.  My systems could be perfect too, but sadly I have not reached that state yet.

But, I do agree that RTI scares me - so many ways it can go so very wrong - in real time!

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