Filing your Employer Annual Return (P35 and P14s) for 2013-14

This guidance is for those employers who HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) have agreed can send their PAYE information on paper.

Your Employer Annual Return for 2013-14 is due by 19 May 2014. This is the last Employer Annual Return you will need to complete.

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This is the last Employer Annual Return the majority of employers will need to complete. PAYE in real time (or RTI) reporting started on 6 April 2013 and, if HMRC have agreed you can send your information on paper, you will need to start sending your PAYE information to HMRC quarterly. HMRC will automatically send you the paper forms you need to complete.

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Who needs to file an Employer Annual Return?

Unless you are already reporting PAYE in real time, you must complete and file an Employer Annual Return if you have had to maintain a form P11 (or equivalent payroll deductions record) for at least one employee during the tax year. This applies even if you didn't have to make any deductions of PAYE tax or National Insurance contributions (NICs) from your employee(s) during the year.

The Employer Annual Return comprises of:

  • a form P14 for each of the employees for whom you've had to maintain a P11 or equivalent record
  • a form P35 which summarises the end-of-year payroll totals for all of your employees combined

Your return must reach HMRC no later than 19 May 2014. If you don't do this HMRC may charge you a penalty that will continue to increase for each month or part month the return remains outstanding.

If you haven't had to maintain at least one form P11 during the tax year

In this case you don't need to complete an Employer Annual Return but you do need to tell HMRC that you won't be sending one in. Doing this will prevent you receiving a late filing penalty if HMRC was expecting you to submit a return. To find out how, read the later section 'Notifying HMRC if you have no Employer Annual Return to make'.

Form P38A - the Employer Supplementary Return

If you are required to file an Employer Annual Return, you'll also need to submit a form P38A to HMRC if you've had any employees during the year to whom both of the following apply:

  • you haven't had to maintain a form P11 for them during the year (and therefore haven't completed a P14 for them as part of your Employer Annual Return)
  • you haven't completed a form P38(S) for them during the year, to indicate that they're a student who only worked for you during their holidays

You can get a copy by:

  • downloading and printing a copy using the link at the end of this section
  • ordering the form from HMRC's Employer Orderline

Go to form P38A

New employers claiming NICs holiday relief

If you are a new employer claiming the NICs holiday, you must read this guidance in conjunction with the guidance on completing the NICs holiday end-of-year returns.

Employer NICs holiday - what to do at the end of the tax year

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Notifying HMRC if you have no Employer Annual Return to make

If you haven't had to maintain any forms P11 during the tax year you don't need to complete an Employer Annual Return - but you do need to tell HMRC that you won't be completing one. If you don't, they may send you unnecessary reminders or penalty notices.

If you are an employer who began operating PAYE in real time in 2013-14 you must not notify HMRC that you have no return to make.

Information you'll need to provide

If you're an employer you'll need to provide:

  • your employer PAYE reference (you'll also find this in your P30BC payment booklet)
  • your contact details - name, telephone number and email address
  • confirmation either that you will be sending in a form P11D(b) return by 6 July or that no form P11D(b) is due (you normally make this declaration on the Employer Annual Return)

How to notify HMRC

You can notify HMRC that you have no return to make by calling the Employer Helpline or writing to the Employer Office. Please note however that you won't normally receive a written acknowledgement if you notify by these methods.

HMRC's Employer Helpline and Employer Office

Returns filed before the start of the new tax year

If you filed your Employer Annual Return before 6 April (for example, because you ceased being an employer),the return won't actually be processed for tax and NICs purposes until early April. Please remember to check carefully that the return you are sending is for the correct tax year. For example, if you are sending your return because you ceased being an employer on 10 May 2013, the return you must send (for the period 6 April 2013 to 10 May 2013) will be for the 2013-14 tax year.

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Adjusting your return before you've filed it

If you have overpayments of PAYE from an earlier year you should not attempt to make any informal adjustments to your Employer Annual Return. The details entered on to the Employer Annual Return must correspond with the total amounts due shown on individual P14s.

In some circumstances adjustments can be made as part of the completion process, for example advance funding of statutory payments.

Even if you've had a letter from HMRC regarding an overpayment you should not enter this on the Employer Annual Return. This letter explained that HMRC would transfer the same amount to your account for the current year. This action has already been taken.

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Amending your return after you've filed it

If you need to amend your Employer Annual Return after you've sent it to HMRC you must take the following steps:

  • Send new versions of the forms that need to be amended - submitting amendments online updates your records without delay - only record the difference on those forms between what you had originally filed and what the figure should be. So if you recorded £100 too little tax on an employee's P14, your amended form should show '+£100'.
  • If you amend any P14s you must send a new P35 with them, even if there are no changes to the figures you reported on your original P35.
  • If you need to explain your amendment (either online or paper amendment), please write to HMRC Customer Operations Employer Office.

Sending amended information means that your original return was either incomplete or inaccurate and could mean that you may be charged a penalty.

Find contact details for HMRC's Customer Operations Employer Office

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Employer Annual Return records

You don't need to keep a copy of the Employer Annual Return (forms P35 and P14). But you do need to keep a copy of the records you used to prepare and file your return so that you are able to provide supporting evidence if HMRC asks for it.

If you kept paper PAYE payroll records you still don't have to keep paper copies of your Employer Annual Return (forms P35 and P14). If you do wish to keep paper records you can download a copy of the form P35 and forms P14 to record the information you wish to keep.

Go to form P35

Go to form P14

PAYE record keeping

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More useful links

Question six in Part three of the P35 Employer Annual Return - Are you a Service Company?

There is information about how to answer this question in the Employer Helpbook CWG2, Chapter 4, paragraph 124.

Download CWG2 'Employer Further Guide to PAYE and NICs' (PDF 1.7MB)

Follow the link below for more information about the Intermediaries Legislation, sometimes known as IR35.

Intermediaries Legislation (IR35) - Working through an intermediary, such as a Personal Service Company

Or you can phone HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC's) IR35 helpline.

Find contact details for HMRC's IR35 Helpline

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