Get to grips with PAYE, employers urged

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Real Time Information is catching out many employers in the UK, who this month are being hit with penalties by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

A North West payroll expert is urging Lancashire businesses to get their act together, or be liable to substantial fines for failing to take seriously the new method of reporting PAYE contributions.

Lisa Kennery, payroll manager of Blackburn based business advisory and accountancy group, Pierce, said anecdotal evidence indicates that many employers are unaware of, or simply not taking seriously, their new responsibilities for weekly or monthly reporting of PAYE.

This is despite the first batch of stiff penalties for non-compliance being issued to UK companies by HMRC this month.

She is calling for all businesses in the region with fewer than 50 employees not to be caught out, either by ignorance or defiance of the new regulations and claims that HMRC means business when punishing offenders.

Lisa said: “It has been law since April 2013 for employers to adopt RTI for reporting of PAYE and those with more than 50 employees, who have failed to comply, are this month being hit with the first round of penalty notices, which build month by month and accrue interest if infringement of regulations continues.

“Real Time Information requires employers paying wages monthly or weekly to submit a return to HMRC on, or the day before they pay employees. This is different to the old system that required employers to submit returns annually and, as a consequence, it’s caught out many employers.”

Lisa also warned that from March 6, employers with fewer than 50 employees will also run the risk of penalties for late or inaccurate returns.

She said: “Employers outsourcing payroll should be fine but those managing payroll in-house are perhaps at most risk if they haven’t sought advice and invested in the specialist software required to enable businesses to make the returns on-line to HMRC.

“It’s a sea change in how PAYE is reported to HMRC but it appears that the message hasn’t got through to everyone.”