Accountants should prepare for payroll year-end

Accountants will no doubt be aware that the current tax year ends on Thursday. They now need to cast their minds towards their client’s Employer Annual Payroll Returns.

The completed returns must be with HMRC no later than the 19th May and failure to meet the deadline could result in a large penalty. It’s not only tardiness that can attract late penalties though. The Revenue also issues fines for late payment of PAYE, mistakes on returns and failing to file returns online in cases where it is mandatory.

Employers, or their contractor accountant, must make sure they file an Employer Annual Return if at least one employee has been paid via the PAYE system during the tax year. This must still be done even if the employee was not liable to pay National Insurance or income tax.

At the end of the tax year, employers need to complete a P14 for each individual employee and a P35, which is a summary of the totals for all employees.

Every year HMRC says employers make mistakes when filling in their end of year returns. If the employer spots the mistake, he should notify the Revenue in writing and send in a new version of the relevant form. However, amendments must also be with the Revenue by the deadline date of 19th of May, so it pays not to leave things till the last minute.

As from April 2013, it’ll be all change at year-end. Real Time Information will be upon us and a lot of employers will be sending data to HMRC every time they run their payroll. This should alleviate the need for a lot of the forms that need completing this year. Whatever your feelings are on RTI, at least one good thing will come out of it!

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