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Latest HMRC update for employers and agents

by Tax Faculty Team on 03.04.2012 04:22

No need for a 2011/12 annual return, employee queries about week 53 payments, and system downtime

 

Latest HMRC update for employers and agents

 

No need for a 2011/12 annual return, employee queries about week 53 payments, and system downtime

 

HMRC has sent us its latest (30 March 2012) update on matters of interest to employers and agents. This one covers:

 

1. No need for a 2011/12 annual return

A reminder that employers who do not need to make an annual return should tell HMRC.

 

2. Employee queries where operation of week 53 payment results in an underpayment of tax

In some tax years, the way dates fall mean that employers will make one more payment than usual to employees towards the end of the tax year, referred to as a ‘week 53’ payment. This may result in underpayments for employees because PAYE allocates allowances based on 52 weekly, 26 fortnightly or 13 four-weekly paydays. Such underpayments for 2010/11 will be collected via 2012/13 codes. HMRC explains what to tell employees if they ask about this.

 

3. System downtime

Full details of when the PAYE online service will be unavailable during system upgrades over Easter.

 

The full text of the HMRC update is as follows:

 

No Employer Annual Return (P35 and P14s) to make for 2011/12

Employers who did not have to complete a P11 deductions working sheet, or equivalent record, during the 2011/12 tax year do not need to file an Employer Annual Return. But they should tell us if they have no return to make so that we can update our records to prevent us issuing any unnecessary reminders and penalty notices.

 

The easiest way to let us know there is no return to make is by using the structured email forms on our website. There’s one for employers and one for agents. Using these forms is quicker, cheaper and easier than writing or calling. We will confirm by email that we have received the notification and email you once we have noted our records.

 

Last year we could not process some of the forms because we could not link the reference number on the form with the correct employer record. So please double check that the reference number you enter on the form is correct. If you are not sure what your employer reference number is you can find it on the front of your yellow payment booklet (P30BC) or on the electronic PAYE reminders we send you each year.

 

You must only use the form to tell us you had no return to make for 2011/12.

 

If you want to tell us about an earlier year you can write to us or telephone the Employer Helpline on 0845 7 143 143.

 

Find out more at: No Employer Annual Return to make 2011-12

 

Employee queries where operation of week 53 payment results in an underpayment of tax

In some tax years, the way dates fall mean that you will end up making one more payment than usual to your employees towards the end of the tax year. If you pay your employees weekly this would be a 53rd weekly payment, if you pay them fortnightly it would be a 27th fortnightly payment and if you pay them four-weekly it would be a 14th four-weekly payment. These extra payments are often referred to as ‘Week 53 payments’

 

This may lead to an underpayment of PAYE as an individual’s personal allowance for the year is worked out on the basis of 52 weekly, 26 fortnightly and 13 four-weekly paydays, however the procedure ensures that the employer knows what tax code to operate for the extra pay day and gives the employee certainty of take home pay without tax being deducted punitively, eg at Basic rate or Higher rate, without allowances. Tax allowances are administered this way to allow the payroll to run and HMRC will then reconcile the tax records of any individuals falling into this category and recover any underpaid tax.

 

P800 PAYE tax calculations have now been sent out to individuals advising them that they have underpaid for the tax year 2010/11 and tax codes have recently been issued for 2012/13 which include this underpaid tax, and confirming collection of it during the 2012/13 tax year.

 

If you are approached by an employee who has underpaid, you should confirm to them that you have not made an error in your payroll and explain to them that if they cannot pay the underpaid tax or think that the calculation is wrong they should contact HMRC using the contact details in the notes enclosed with the calculation.

 

If you receive any payment requests from HMRC which have been sent by mistake, then you should reply confirming that you operated the Week 53 procedure.

 

Pay As You Earn (PAYE) online service availability

Our PAYE online service will be unavailable as detailed below. Further information about our online service availability can be found on our website.

 

Tuesday 3 April 18:00 – Thursday 5 April 21:00

Due to a scheduled upgrade you will experience a delay in receiving your online acknowledgement to PAYE End of Year submissions made using HMRC Online Returns & Forms, Basic PAYE Tools and commercial software between 18:00 on Tuesday 3 April and 21:00 on Thursday 5 April. Your acknowledgement will be sent between 11 – 13 April.

 

Thursday 5 April 21:00 – Sunday 8 April 12:00

Due to a scheduled upgrade you will be unable to access HMRC Online Returns & Forms between 21:00 on Thursday 5 April and 12:00 on Sunday 8 April. If you use Basic PAYE Tools or commercial software you will still be able to submit your returns for PAYE End of Year, PAYE In Year and PAYE Expenses and Benefits however you will experience a delay in receiving your online acknowledgement. Your acknowledgement will be sent between 11 – 13 April

 

Sunday 8 April 12:00 – 16:00

Due to a scheduled upgrade you will be unable to access HMRC Online Returns & Forms between 12:00 and 16:00 on Sunday 8 April. If you use Basic PAYE Tools or commercial software you will be unable to submit your returns at this time.

 

Sunday 8 April 16:00 – Wednesday 11 April 06:00

Due to a scheduled upgrade you will be unable to access HMRC Online Returns & Forms between 16:00 on Sunday 8 April and 06:00 on Wednesday 11 April. If you use Basic PAYE Tools or commercial software you will still be able to submit your returns for PAYE End of Year, PAYE In Year and PAYE Expenses and Benefits however you will experience a delay in receiving your online acknowledgement. Your acknowledgement will be sent between 11 – 13 April.

 

Wednesday 11 April 06:00 – Friday 13 April 18:00

The PAYE Online service will be available from 06:00 on Wednesday 11 April however following the scheduled upgrade you may still experience a delay in receiving your online acknowledgement. Your acknowledgement will be sent by Friday 13 April.

 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

 

Information about current service issues can be found on our website.