RTI Reports and Penalties

Real time information (RTI) was supposed to make the reporting of PAYE easier for employers, but it has introduced more filing deadlines, and new penalties for missing those deadlines.

Every employer must now send a full payment submission (FPS) report every time they pay employees, on or before the payment date. There is some relaxation for certain employers who have fewer than ten employees.

If no payment has been made to employees in the tax month the employer should submit an employer payment summary (EPS) by 19th of the following tax month. Alternatively where the employees will be paid in only one month of the year, the employer can register the PAYE scheme as an “annual scheme”, and submit RTI reports just once a year.

From 6 October 2014, large employers (50 or more employees) have been charged a penalty for every RTI reporting deadline they have missed, although they are permitted one late filing per tax year. Those penalty notices will start to arrive with employers this month, but HMRC are not sending copies to us as your tax agent. If you receive an RTI penalty notice please let us know immediately.

Smaller employers (up to 50 employees) will be charged penalties for missing RTI filing deadlines from 6 March 2015. Those smaller employers are not permitted to have one penalty free month in 2014/15.

The good news for all employers is that the end-of-year questions which used to be included on the form P35 have been dropped from the final FPS or EPS to be submitted for 2014/15.

If you submit a final FPS or EPS for the 2014/15 tax year after 6 March 2015 in theory you shouldn’t have to answer those annoying questions. However, this change in practice was announced too late to be included in most payroll software for 2014/15. Even HMRC’s free Basic PAYE Tools software will not be updated for the change to the end of year procedures until July 2015. So it looks like you will have to answer those pointless questions for 2014/15 although HMRC do nothing with the information.