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PAYE for Employers problem

Do you need the PAYE for employers account to be activated to make a payment to it?

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A recent client has registered as an employer & has received an employer paye ref and an accounts office reference.

They have signed up for PAYE for employers via their government gateway and a message on their government gateway is saying 'We have posted an activation code to you - it may take 7 days'. This was over 3 weeks ago and they haven't received it. 

HMRC have told the client that they can not make any payments until their paye for employers account has been activated. Is this true? I would have thought that to make their payroll payments they only need the accounts office reference and make a bank transfer. They would need the account activated to see the payments but would they need it activated to make the payments? 

They are using a payroll services company who say that they have everything they need to file the payroll with HMRC so the only issue is HMRC telling the client that they can not yet make payments.

Any help would be very welcome.





Replies (5)

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By Paul Crowley
06th May 2021 11:24

What does HMRC mean by payments?
Could it mean the PAYE deducted?

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By karon
06th May 2021 11:50

Yes - they mean that the employer can't pay over the paye & ni until the account has been activated by the employer. My thought is that once you have the accounts office ref you can pay HMRC and it will land in HMRC's bank account with the correct ref ready to be allocated to the employer account once the account has been activated.

What would happen if the employer paye account was not activated (because the employer didn't receive the activation code in time) and as a result paye & ni wasn't paid over by the deadline?


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By Matrix
06th May 2021 12:36

This is rubbish. None of my clients have online accounts, they seem to manage to pay just fine. Maybe HMRC are referring to paying online through a link in the account.

If HMRC really required every customer to have an online account to pay taxes then, well, there would be a bit of a problem in the treasury department.

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By Hugo Fair
06th May 2021 12:55

Yes, they do need to activate their PAYE for Employers account ... otherwise there is every chance either that any payment made will be rejected or (worse) will disappear into one of myriad suspense accounts - leaving your client's account apparently unpaid.

This has nothing to do with the method of payment (per Matrix's comments) ... it's just yet another bit of inconvenient admin emanating from the move to digital.

BTW has client checked their address as shown via their government gateway (as that's likely to be to where the code was posted)?

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By Moonbeam
06th May 2021 15:18

I think HMRC are right on this occasion. Ask the client to call them to find out what address they have on record for the client. Almost certainly the letter has gone to the wrong address.

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