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Software buyers must consider e-filing requirements

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Speaking to payroll staff at the Softworld event in Birmingham’s NEC, Inland Revenue business adviser Marie Gibbs warned off the looming online filing deadline and told employers to ensure software can deliver.

Size matters she said, with deadlines being banded according to the numbers employed:

  • Employers with 250 or more staff must file their 2004-2005 return online

  • Organisations with between 50 and 249 employees will be obliged to e-file the following year, 2005-2006

  • Small businesses with fewer than 50 staff have a little longer and will not be obliged to file online until 2009-2010

Gibbs warned that the rules apply to each PAYE scheme.

“If you split the payroll into two PAYE schemes you need to look at the number of employees in each to determine which deadline applies to you.”

Employers can file online in two ways: via the Internet, from software or Inland Revenue forms or for larger employers by Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Gibbs warned that EDI would only be suited to those with tens of thousands of employees, NHS Trusts for example.

Gibbs urged buyers to check that software is e-enabled and is capable of meeting with the Inland Revenue quality standards for returns.

A list of Inland Revenue accredited software is available.

Included in the End of Year Return she said are P14s and P35s. Not included are:

  • P38A

  • P11D & P11D(b)

  • P38S

  • CIS 36

Tax incentives are being offered to small employers who file before the 2009-2010 deadline. Small businesses with fewer than 50 staff can be rewarded with as much as £825 if they e-file every year from 2004-2005.

Employers who pay late will be liable for a surcharge at the end of the year based on the number of defaults during the relevant period and the amount during the year. The surcharge only stops accumulating when there are no defaults for a whole tax year.

Concluding Gibbs said: “I would advise all employers to register for Inland Revenue online services now. It takes seven days to receive a pin and you then have 28 days to activate the service. If you fail to do it within this time then you have to start again so leaving it right until the deadline could mean failing to file on time.”


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Annie Hayes

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