Confusion over exemption from online payroll reporting
05 September 2017
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) has highlighted that guidance on GOV.UK around the availability of a payroll online filing exemption, may be misleading some people into believing that their circumstances are not covered.
If you fall within a limited number of categories, you can still use paper to send information to HMRC. The following groups may be able to send paper forms:
- Someone who takes on a PA, called a care and support employer by HMRC
- Those who are exempt from online filing on religious grounds
- Those who are considered by HMRC to be unable to file online (often called the ‘digitally excluded')
LITRG explain about each of these exemptions in more detail on their website.
It was originally intended that the last category of exemption, the ‘digitally excluded’ would only be available until April 2017.
According to LITRG’s article they wrote to HMRC and expressed concern that this would potentially disadvantage vulnerable employers, not to mention be against their human rights – see Bishop & Others v HMRC Commissioners  522 UKFTT.
In response HMRC indicated to LITRG that they had no plans to withdraw the category of exemption as from April 2017, however the GOV.UK guidance on the exemptions, is still referring to an April 2017 end date which may be leading people to incorrectly believe that they cannot make use of paper filing.
LITRG has flagged the inconsistent information to both HMRC and GOV.UK and hope that the date will be removed as soon as possible.