Small employers warned over penalties

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Preston-based chartered accountants Rushtons are warning small employers they could face penalties if they fail to submit payroll details under the new Real Time Information (RTI) system.

Under RTI, employers must report the amount of money paid to staff either on weekly or monthly basis.

RTI penalties came into force in October for employers with more than 50 employees, and, from March 2015, employers with fewer than 50 employees will be affected.

Employers will face a penalty if their Full Payment Submission (FPS) is late, they don’t send the expected number of FPSs or they don’t send an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) if they don’t pay any employees in a tax month.

Neil Calvert, from Rushtons, said: “Small employers need to be wary that even if they have not paid employees in a tax month, and think they have nothing to tell the RTI system, they can still get caught out with penalties.

“If neither a FPS nor EPS is submitted, HMRC will raise a specified charge based on previous PAYE submissions. This may be significantly more than the actual PAYE payment figure, so it is crucial that employers submit RTI returns accurately and on time.

“In addition, be aware that if employers run more than one PAYE scheme, they can be charged penalties for each.

“Interest is also charged if penalties are not paid within 30 days of getting a penalty notice by HMRC.”