Employers should submit their full payment submission (FPS) on or before the date their employees are paid. Until 5 April 2017 HMRC was operating a three-day grace period for the FPS; if the return was submitted within 3 days after the payment date no penalty would be raised, unless the employer was persistently late with submitting each FPS.
HMRC also said it would “risk assess” all late filing penalties for 2016/17, so no PAYE late filing penalties would be issued without human consideration. Where a late filing penalty is appropriate, it is issued a part of a batch once per quarter. The next batch of penalties for the last quarter of 2016/17 are due to be issued in the week commencing 8 May 2017.
Those penalties can be appealed using PAYE online, or by using a paper form. If you use the online method, you must select a reason for the appeal using the drop-down menu, and provide further facts to support the reason in the information box. Completing this information box is now mandatory. HMRC is hosting a live webinar 26 April 2017 to explain how the late filing penalties will be operated for 2017/18.
When we ring HMRC from 1 May 2017 onwards, to ask for pay and tax details of a client, HMRC won’t give us that information, even if we are authorised to act for the taxpayer. HMRC will instead send the information in a letter to the taxpayer, at his last known address, but they won’t send a copy of this letter to us.
HMRC say this change is to reduce call handling costs and to increase security for taxpayers. When the taxpayer himself contacts HMRC, he will be given the requested details over the phone, or be directed to access their personal digital tax account.
From late summer 2017 HMRC expect to have a digital solution in place to allow tax agents to access such details for clients, without making a phone call.