HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have now published guidance on late and inaccurate returns for 2012-13 and 2013-14.
The guidance sets out, following consultation, the following for employers operating PAYE in real time.
There will be no change to the penalties for late filing of returns for the tax years 2012-13 and 2013-14. The current penalty regime will continue to apply at the tax year end. There will be no penalties if in-year Full Payment Submissions (FPSs) are submitted late.
Employers and pension providers must submit an FPS 'on or before' they pay an employee or pensioner. If they still have information to send after 5 April, they can send this on an FPS until 19 April, then on an Earlier Year Update after that. To avoid a late filing penalty for 2012-13 and 2013-14, they must report the final payment made to an employee or pensioner by 19 May following the end of the relevant tax year.
2012-13: For the tax year 2012-13, HMRC will not charge penalties for inaccuracies identified on in-year FPS. But penalties may be charged after the end of the tax year, based on the final FPS for the year.
2013-14: Penalties for inaccuracies may apply to in-year returns from the 2013-14 tax year. HMRC will use the same considerations which apply now under Schedule 24, Finance Act 2007 and continue to use a risk-based approach to identify employers who may be submitting incorrect returns.
Guidance is published in the guide 'What happens if you don't report payroll information on time'.
Reporting in real time does not change an employer or pension provider's legal obligation to pay HMRC in full - at the right time - the amounts they deduct from their employees or pensioners as they go through the tax year.
From Monday 19 November 2012 HMRC started contacting employers with apparent underpayments to help them get up-to-date and on the right lines with their payments.
For the tax years 2012-13 and 2013-14, HMRC will continue to use a risk-based approach to identify employers who are not complying with their payment obligations and who therefore might be liable to late payment penalties. Where employers who are not complying with their obligations are identified, late payment penalties may be charged.
HMRC will notify employers who may have defaulted on either a filing or payment obligation as soon as possible to enable them to get back to compliance quickly and avoid any further penalties for future failures. For further information on payment of PAYE, please read 'PAYE/National Insurance payments and deadlines'.
For reporting in real time
For current PAYE