From this week HMRC will start to send four types of new messages to employers to help them keep their PAYE up-to-date.
These messages will take two formats:
1. The first three are generic electronic messages to warn the employer that their PAYE submissions and payments appear to have fallen into arrears.
2. The fourth one will be a letter, telling an employer that HMRC are cancelling a PAYE scheme that has been inactive for 120 days.
The electronic messages are not penalty notices and therefore an employer should not appeal against them. These messages do not replace the existing compliance communications, which will continue as now.
The aim of these messages is to help employers comply with their PAYE obligations and in particular get their businesses to submit and pay their PAYE to HMRC on time. This will help them get ready for 6 April 2014 when in-year penalties for late reporting and late payment will replace the current end-of-year PAYE penalties. HMRC wants to receive payments and returns on time; it does not want to charge penalties.
The messages warn that the employer may incur penalties in future, even if they have done nothing wrong for 2013-14 (for example if they are a smaller employer taking advantage of the current relaxation for ‘on or before’ reporting). If this is the case the employer does not need to contact HMRC but they should be preparing for 2014-15.
HMRC will update the wording of these messages in April 2014.