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Missing payroll client

Client gone AWOL

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I have a bi-weekly payroll for a seasonal business, the business closes in the winter and reopens on the Spring Bank Holiday. This year the client has gone AWOL and is not replying to any communications.

Do I continue to file nil RTI reports; my issue is that if I do I am really unsure if they are correct, if I do not I risk fines which "the client" would seek to recover from me.

What would you do?

Replies (4)

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By ohgoodgodno
11th May 2018 13:14

I would do nothing, I wouldn't even file nil RTI returns because you cant know that these are correct

by the sounds of it you have given the client every opportunity to provide the information you require to do the job, if they don't provide it you cant do it.

if the client gets fined its their own fault, your position is not to cover your clients [***]

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By claudialowe
11th May 2018 13:56

I wouldn't submit anything either. I would also try every method to contact the client, with a "if I don't hear from you by x, I will no longer be able to act for you" type message. Then if they haven't responded by x, then disengage. That way your **** is covered!

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By atleastisoundknowledgable...
11th May 2018 16:58

How is payment of your fees working?

If they’ve disappeared and aren’t paying you, then you definitely shouldn’t be filing RTIs.

Other than that point, totally agree with the others.

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Euan's picture
By Euan MacLennan
11th May 2018 18:03

Why are you concerned? The Spring Bank Holiday is not until 28th May.

If you hear nothing by then, would you able to visit the business to see if it is open and if so, to talk to the client in person?

If not, I would suggest that you notify on your next nil EPS that the PAYE scheme has ceased. This will avoid the possibility of any penalties in future. If it is just a case of the client being dilatory, it is easy to apply for a new PAYE scheme online (or HMRC may choose to resurrect the closed scheme) - the references come through within 2 weeks and you have 30 days from the issue of the references to file the first RTI return.

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