HMRC have announced that from 6 March automatic penalties for late RTI reports will be extended to employers with 49 or fewer employees.
HMRC is about to start sending out penalty notices to employers with 50 or more employees who have submitted two or more late RTI full payment submissions since October 2014. For second and subsequent late submissions, the penalty charge is a minimum of £100 and maximum of £400, depending on the number of employees. Where a report is made more than three months late, a further fine of 5% of the PAYE/CIS tax and NI due on the report is payable.
If you receive a penalty notice that you don’t think is due, for example if an RTI report wasn’t required for the period in question, you can appeal against it, using HMRC’s online penalty and appeals service.
Penalty notices will be sent automatically if HMRC’s computer thinks an RTI report is late or has been missed. This could potentially lead to a wave of incorrect notices following the end of each tax month. To avoid this happening to you, even if you make no payments of salary etc for a tax month, submit an employer payment summary as soon as you know a full payment submission isn’t needed.
Thomson Cooper expert Elaine Cromwell comments “As usual, the devil is in the detail. Although HMRC does not usually charge a penalty for the first month in each tax year where you make a late report, this does not apply to late reports for 6 March to 5 April 2015 (tax month 12) for schemes with fewer than 50 employees as it is the only month in the tax year 2014 / 2015 to which penalties apply. From 6 April 2015 onwards, there will be no penalty for the first time you file late – penalties only apply to subsequent late filings.”