Should HMRC be penalised when they fail to meet deadlines?

HMRC has admitted that some employers may not receive their PAYE payment booklets for this tax year before this month’s payment becomes due.

Depending on the method of payment, employers need to remit their money by either the 19th or the 22nd May. People who pay electronically have to settle by May 22nd but this month the 22nd falls on a Sunday and therefore funds must have cleared into the HMRC bank not later than next Friday (20th) if the remitter wants to avoid possible late payment penalties.

Employers who fail to send their Employer Annual Returns on time are almost certainly going to receive a late filing penalty charge. In previous years, employers were given an extra-statutory concession before the penalty was levied, but HMRC has now withdrawn this.

SMEs, or their contractor accountants, can use the Revenue’s Online Return and Forms – PAYE online product to file their employee data securely and firms with less than 10 employees can make use of HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools.

HMRC points out that the problem with issuing the payment booklets does not affect everyone and employers who are already in possession of a booklet should carry on as normal.

Why is it that HMRC cannot get the simplest of things right? Every year payment booklets are sent out to employers; it’s not a new system, it’s been around for years.

If the Revenue can’t get there administration sorted out, what faith can we have that they’ll make a better job when reporting in real-time comes into being? It’s of paramount importance to employees that their National Insurance and tax remittances are recorded correctly. Things need to change at HMRC, and quickly, before we lose faith completely.

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