Until April 2016 employers with less than 9 employees, classed as micro employers, were granted a relaxation of the RTI (Real Time Information) filing rules that were introduced in 2014.
Rather than being required to ensure the RTI forms were filed on or before payday, micro businesses were given until the end of the tax month in which the payroll was processed and paid.
That’s all now changed. All businesses, regardless of size, must now comply with the RTI filing rules.
There’s every chance that this will catch a number of micro businesses out but sadly ignorance is no defence.
If you do not submit your RTI files to HMRC by the due date each month you will be subject to penalties for late submission (currently £100 per month for micro businesses).
There is a ‘one strike allowed’ policy in place that allows employers one breach in a tax year and there’s also a grey area whereby returns submitted within 3 days of the due date will not be subject to a penalty, although HMRC caveat that by saying that repeat offenders will be considered for a penalty, so don’t assume this 3 day window is something you have a right to use every month.
The important thing is to get your payroll returns filed on time every month – that’s the easiest way of avoiding a penalty!
And, remember, if you are drowning in payroll problems we are here to help and our fees are a lot more reasonable than an HMRC penalty!