HMRC ‘gets a move on’ with PAYE penalties

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HM Revenue and Customs say that they are issuing interim penalties for outstanding 2006-07 Employer Annual Returns from 24th September 2007. Penalty notices will be sent out where records show that 2006-07 Employers Annual Return (P14s and P35) and 2006-07 Contractors Annual Return (CIS36) which are due have not yet been received.

These returns were due by 19 May 2007. The penalty is levied at 100 per 50 employees and/or subcontractors for each month a return is outstanding, as at 19 September 2007. If the return has not yet been filed that already amounts to 400.

HMRCs advice is to send in outstanding returns, or if no return was due and a penalty is issued employers have 30 days to appeal.

Late returns will still attract an online filing incentive, if an employer has fewer than 50 employees...

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'Penalty Determination'
How is it that these penalties have already been Determined ?

Is that word used to imply that they are beyond Appeal ?

We should double bluff them and let HMRC waste as much resource as possible trying to collect incorrect penalties.

Is the PAYE Office still trying to recoup the unexpected amount of incentives it had to pay out?

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175,000 Appeals??
Are we to write appealing against the 17th May missed return penalties, yes I have some myself, or will the Revenue sort this out all on their own?

I wonder if Mr Darling is disappointed that he hasn't got a £70 million windfall coming his way after all!

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Its their fault again....
HMRC Employer's Helpline confirmed to us on the phone today that some 175,000 penalty notices have been issued in respect of eletronic lodgements on 17 May, and due to a computer glitch, most of these are incorrect !

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.. with the usual level of attention to detail
Today's post brings penalty notices for four clients where the P35 and P14s were filed online, on time. Three other clients have received these notices directly. The chap I spoke to on the employer's helpline earlier had not been officially informed of the problem, but said "We do seem to be getting a lot of calls this morning."

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incorrect penalties again
Are we alone or is everyone getting penalty notices for cases which were filed electronically before the deadline? So far we have received two, both from Chapel Wharf. After speaking to the Inspector on one case we were told to appeal and send a copy of th e email receipt. These problems with electronic filing are a pain!

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2005/2006 penalties
can anyone please advise if they have any success in appealing the £900 penalties for late filing for 2005/2006 penalties and if so how??

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Penalties both ways
Today I received a £400 penalty for a PAYE scheme I didn't know existed for a company and that has neither, never traded nor ever had employees. I have therefore, sent a penalty note to the Revenue for £50 to part cover wasted professional time. Watch this space!

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17th MAY.......
So (assumng its true) 175,000 incorrect penalty notices have been issued. By anyone's standards, even HMRC, that's a pretty big mistake. You've got 175,000 customers being charged (and threatened with) £400 of penalties each!! The ineptitude beggars belief!

So, I scan the HMRC site looking for info - an explanation or - even - an APOLOGY? What do I find?

Employers - Stop Press section - nothing

What's new section - zilch

Spoof emails and Scams (worth a try) - zero

'Customer' services??????? Working together???
(Remainder of post deleted due to number of expletives)

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thanks David
I've already done the Appeal but this news eases my mind. In fact I've already done the compensation claim for harrassment and wasted time and this will be submitted.

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Penalty Stacking
Similar to Conor Walls. With regard to the stacking up of penalties before notifiying clients, I need a little help with this injustice.

Sorry to hijack the thread. I've already posted this question at

We now have two clients we overlooked in our P35 run. My fault. Ooops!

We now have two lots of £400 to cough up.

Does anyone have any tips as to how we might approach the Revenue with a view to them agreeing that we just pay £100.

I know I've already posted this question but, as it's so closely related to this issue (and I'm sure there are others in the same boat as me) I thought I'd raise it again here.

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As a matter of interest
I only submitted one P35 on 17 May and have yet to receive a penalty notice for that one (if it went to the client, I will never see it!). However, I HAVE received a notification of the incentive payment for the client.

So, as a matter of interest, I wondered how many of those who have now received penalty notices for P35s submitted on 17 May have already had the incentive payment notice.

Seems like it would add to the "totally inept" argument if the incentive payments have been issued!!!

They can hardly uphold a penalty for September, if they issued an incentive in June!

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Online explanation
Does anyone have an online link to where the Revenue have admitted the 17th May errors ?

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Amazing how no one is to blame?
Have HMRC Senior Management been on the Civil Service Course designed by Sir Humphrey entitled –“Mistakes and How to Ensure that the Blame is Dissipated” ?

We had the announcement from HMRC that there will be delays in the issue of Incentive Payments for Electronic Filing. HMRC Press Office stated:

“Please find below only publicly comment HMRC are currently making on this issue.
The majority of small employers ' self serve ' the incentive payment by deducting it from their PAYE payments. Over 50,000 employers have received 2006/07 incentive payments, which is significantly more than at this time last year. Less than 10 percent of the 1.3 million employers who qualify for the incentive are currently waiting for a cheque.”

A problem with English Grammar but have a look at for the full story.

When one considers the fact that HMRC use the same computer to issue Penalty Notices as they use to issue Incentive Payments, it becomes confusing that there are problems with the payment of monies, but absolutely no problems with the issue of Penalty Notices.

The notion of Customer Service is being completely destroyed not least because as at 19th May each year HMRC should be in a position, after spending vast sums of money on Electronic Filing and their Modernisation of PAYE Processes for Customers program, to determine who has not filed their PAYE End of Year data, but do not to issue Penalty Notices until September for the offence of “being late with a return of information”.

Who, within HMRC takes any responsibility for this situation? Should we contact Don MacArthur, the Employers Champion ( [email protected] ) or should we contact the HMRC appointed co-chair of the MPPC Employers Consultation group, Ms. Karen Thompson ( who works for the Institute of Payroll Professionals ) and express the view that enough is enough?

HMRC's view of Customer Service is clearly different to that which the commercial world would subscribe. Who will cover the costs of explaining to Clients that although HMRC issued a Penalty Notice, it was wrong and that we, their Agents, are not at fault. Perhaps a Podcast by Dave Hartnett would do the trick?

Please submit your suggestions for the script to [email protected] !!

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Just had a call from HMRC in response to my appeal against a 17th May filing penalty to say penalty cancelled and - sorry. It was a nationwide problem caused by computer error....

That's fine then, as a loyal customer, I won't take my business elsewhere.

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We too have received a pile of penalties for returns already filed, it would appear that they were all filed on the 17th May.

We have been informed by the online services helpline that they are in a queuing system at the offices to which they relate (4 months later!)

This is absolutely ludicrous and a waste of our time for failings yet again in the Revenue's online filing systems

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17th MAY.......
I've got the penalty notice today - my software says it was received by HMRC on 17 MAY as well!!! But my client has faxed the penalty notice asking for £400......

Cue TWILIGHT ZONE music......

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We have now received penalty notices for 30 of the 53 that we submitted on the 17th May, the bulk of them on that day were submitted after 4pm but some were submitted just after 3.15pm not sure if the time of submission has any bearing on it.
Out of the 53 submitted on that day we have only received 1 incentive notice.
So I guess we can expect to receive a further 22 penalty notices next Wednesday if they don't get lost in the post!

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P35 penalties
I spoke to the call centre today and they said that the computer was back from holidays on 9th October where its first task will be to issue penalty amendments and they asked us not to file appeals until we hear further in case we give it a post holiday headache. So there you are ( But we have made a diary note to hit the appeal procedures on the 14th just in case the sangria takes longer to wear off !!)

As to incentives, we have received about 50% so far by keeping an eye on the online notices but these have now dried up, so a list of the remaining is being prepared for submission.

I love technology !!!

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