RTI late filing and late payment penalties

Real Time Information (RTI) late filing and late payment penalties from April 2014

RTI has now been in operation for the majority of employers since April 2013.   RTI requires employers operating PAYE to report information on employees’ pay and deductions in ‘real time’ to HMRC. Under RTI employers are obliged to tell HMRC about payments they make to their employees, on or before the date payments are made. Employers continue to pay over to HMRC the sums deducted from their employees under the PAYE system either monthly or quarterly. 

HMRC have introduced a new penalty regime for RTI to encourage compliance with the information and payment obligations. The penalty regime will apply from 6 April 2014.

Late filing penalties will apply to each PAYE scheme, with the size of the penalty based on the number of employees in the scheme. Monthly penalties will be between £100 and £400.

Each scheme will be subject to only one late filing penalty each month regardless of the number of returns due in the month. There will be one unpenalised default each year with all subsequent defaults attracting a penalty. Penalties will be charged quarterly and subject to the usual reasonable excuse and appeal provisions.

A new employer will not receive a late filing default provided the first RTI return is filed within 30 days of making the first payment to an employee.

HMRC have the option of charging further tax geared ‘extended failure’ penalties where a return is more than three months late. The penalty will be 5% of the amount due on the late return.

Changes will be made to the late payment penalty regime, which is based on the number of late payments relating to each tax year. Where an employer pays over a sum that is within £100 of the total shown as due to HMRC from the RTI returns filed for the tax period, no late payment penalty will arise.

HMRC will send a late payment penalty notice quarterly in July, October, January and April, if necessary.