Midnight passed on 5 April, the deadline by which HMRC said it would set out its stance on late filing PAYE data via real time information (RTI). We're still waiting to hear back from the tax department what the actual situation is.
“They have 24 hours left to publish their new penalty stance or miss the commitment given last year to publish it by the end of the tax year,” payroll lecturer and writer Kate Upcraft said the day before. “If not we start another tax year with no RTI compliance regime.”
The new tax year will see the end of RTI reporting concessions that were introduced in 2014 to ease the burden on small companies. HMRC’s February Employer bulletin warned that the two-year temporary reporting relaxation will end as planned on 5 April 2016.
The relaxation allowed companies with fewer than nine employes to report monthly information on or before the last payday in the month, rather than on or before each pay run.
A few permanent exceptions to the on or before rule remain in place, for example if employees are paid on a non-banking day or the employee earns less than £112. But for everyone else, the Employer Bulletin advised, “You will need to make sure that from 6 April 2016 your payroll software enables you to report all your PAYE information ‘on or before’ the day you pay your employees.”
As well as the end of the pay month reporting concession, HMRC also decided in February 2015 not to chase full payment submission (FPS) if they were less than three days late (from ANY employer, not just small companies as originally reported. Apologies for the misstatement - Ed). This concession is also due to end today, but there is no word yet from HMRC about what will happen to late SME filers after tomorrow.
AccountingWEB has asked HMRC for an update on the three-day concession and further guidance on RTI penalties.
According to Upcraft, companies and their payroll agents will continue to operate in a twilight zone of RTI compliance and penalties if new guidance does not appear. “They can't police it anyway even if people still file late,” she said.
About John Stokdyk
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.