Employers NI should be paid by the "fee payer" not the contractor's company. However I have read of cases where the fee payer has deducted the employers NI from the amount paid over to the contractor's company. Very naughty!
If you've submitted an FPS on 14th April for work done in the period 1st to 7th April with a payment date of 31st March then you've incurred late filing penalties for not having filed "on or before payday".
You certainly need to correct the paydate shown on the FPS to avoid more penalties.
Modifying the scheme
@ Euan: not sure why lower levels of contributions need to be introduced in order for the scheme to qualify. The existing 5% employer contribution exceeds the current minimum contribution criteria of 1% employer, 2% total contributions. Or am I missing something?
The scheme will need some modification re the 'choice' aspect since one of the tenets of auto-enrolment is that eligible jobholders have to be auto-enrolled without the enrolment being dependent on choices made by the jobholder.
Definitely agree with Euan about pensions advice and employment law advice being needed.
Raise a disputed charge
@ Simon Parsons
While agreeing that it's not the software that determines the tax month in which a payment date falls, some payroll systems do produce such schedules which may be misinterpreted. This was the point I was trying to make (obviously not very well!).
The schedules may be produced, for example, to link pay periods to accounting periods. On another forum I've seen such a schedule apparently linking tax week 5 to tax month 2 and the payroll manager querying why HMRC have raised an underpayment notice. Tax week 5 covers paydays in the period 4 - 10 May and so HMRC would include the figures on a FPS with a payday of 4th or 5th May with any other FPSs with paydays of 6th April to 5th May.
I was trying to give HMRC the benefit of the doubt for once (don't ask why, probably going soft in my old age!) by suggesting another alternative for the underpayment notice.
Week 22 includes paydays from 31st August to 6th September inclusive. Therefore unless the payday was 6th September, Sage has correctly allocated the PAYE due to tax month 5 (6th August to 5th September) which should be paid over by 19th/22nd September.
I've seen examples of payroll systems matching tax weeks used for determining free pay to the incorrect PAYE tax month. Main reason appears to be that they don't take account of the contractual payday.
As well as
the template letters try this from tPR's website. http://www.thepensionsregulator.gov.uk/docs/detailed-guidance-10.pdf
Use of form P38S
"She was in full-time education and worked for us at the weekends and in vacations"
In the situation you described, the P38S procedure was invalid. In addition to certifying the earnings would be below the personal allowance, the student was only supposed to work during vacations. This would not include "at the weekends".
"An enormous faff for a few hours a week..."
...and don't forget the 'right to work' checks that should be made for all interviewees before employment starts!
On or before easement
There's an announcement (it's actually under "Publications"!) on .gov.uk website of an extension to the 'on or before' easement for small employers. It may be presented as such but it's not quite true.
While the form of the easement is the same note the following changes:
- from April 2014, the easement will apply only to employers with nine or fewer employees
- new businesses can NOT take advantage of this easement
- easement applies until April 2016
late reporting reason
Who knows how HMRC will interpet the reason for late filing. On the face of it, the reasons you can give appear to be "reasonable", but that's my view not HMRC's.