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New Penalties for late PAYE

Newsletter issue - May 2010.

From this current tax year the Taxman can impose penalties if you are late in paying over the payroll and CIS deductions you make in the tax year. 'Late' in this context means the payment reaches the Tax Office after the 19th of each month, (or 22nd when paying electronically).

Until now the Taxman did not impose penalties or interest on small employers if all the payroll deductions for the year reached him by 19th April (or 22nd) after the end of the tax year. Large employers (those with more than 250 employees) have been subject to surcharges for late payment for some years, as they have been obliged to pay over all deductions electronically.

Those surcharges for large employers have been scrapped and all employers are now subject to the same penalties. However, small employers do not have to pay over their deductions electronically.

The penalty will be based on the total amount of deductions paid late for the tax year and will be calculated based on the number of times payments are late in a tax year as follows ...

  • Late once – no penalty
  • Late 2 to 4 times – 1% penalty
  • Late 5 to 7 times – 2% penalty
  • Late 8 to 10 times – 3% penalty
  • Late 11 or more times – 4% penalty

The penalty applies to the total amount that is late in the tax year (ignoring the first late payment in that tax year).

If any payment is made more than six months late a further 5% charge is added to the above penalties. Where the payment is over 12 months late another 5% penalty charge is added.

However, these penalties cannot be imposed automatically as at present the Taxman does not know how much PAYE etc you should be paying over month on month. Although, when the Taxman inspects your PAYE records and it is apparent that you been late in paying over your payroll deductions, he has every right to impose these heavy penalties for late payment.

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