From the beginning of September, HMRC will write to around 120,000 employers who should be reporting PAYE in real time, but who have not started yet.

HMRC has issued a briefing note explaining that the vast majority, (more than 1.6 million) of employers have started reporting in real time but there are still a very small number who have yet to start or who need to close schemes that are no longer operating.

From the beginning of September, HMRC will write to around 120,000 employers who should be reporting PAYE in real time, but who have not started yet.

Points to note:

  • Employers who have already missed a deadline for reporting PAYE information also received a letter in June.
  • HMRC is not writing to employers who have registered their PAYE scheme as an annual scheme.

The letter that will be sent out sets out the changes and explains to employers that they have missed a PAYE reporting deadline and need to start reporting now. It also explains that they need to contact us straightaway if their PAYE scheme is closed or is no longer operating.

The letter directs them to hmrc.gov.uk/actnow for more help and information.

If employers or agents (on behalf of their clients) have set up PAYE schemes that have never been used – or have schemes which are now ceased – you need to call HMRC to close the scheme. (The Employer Helpline tends to be less busy Tuesday – Thursday so HMRC recommend that you call mid-week if you can).

Agents who have clients with active PAYE schemes and who have not started reporting in real time should help their clients to start reporting immediately.

HMRC believes many of these schemes can be closed because they don’t have any employees linked to them. However, it is important to note that there are some employers who are required to operate a PAYE scheme for expenses and benefits. In this case, employers should either submit a nil EPS each month or contact HMRC to change the scheme to annual and then send them a nil-EPS once a year.

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