Email communications from HMRC to employers yet to file PAYE in real time

20 March 2014

HMRC recently sent out emails to employers who, according to their records, had not yet started reporting in real time.

Some of our members reported to the policy team that these notices did not contain any PAYE references making it impossible for agents and bureaus to identify who the notices referred to. We of course escalated all reports to HMRC and they have formally responded with the following message:

“As part of HMRC’s new publicity campaign aimed at the few employers who have not yet started reporting their PAYE information in real time, on the 17th March 2014, they issued emails to a number of small and medium employers (with up to 249 employees) telling them that HMRC’s records indicated they hadn’t joined RTI. These emails were designed to provide support to employers by providing information about what they needed to do to help them to avoid penalties at the end of 2013-14.

HMRC issued the emails via the Government Gateway to the email addresses that were provided by the PAYE schemes in question when they registered. However HMRC has now acknowledged they had not anticipated how many agents addresses were given as the e-mail contact on the Government Gateway records, and so the email may have proved unhelpful for agents and bureaus dealing with a large number of schemes.

HMRC are also aware that a number of employers who are already reporting in real time in respect of one or more PAYE schemes also appear to have received the emails. Whilst HMRC’s investigations are ongoing, they have not yet found that any emails have been incorrectly issued. HMRC are advising that where an employer has already started to report in real time but has received an email that they double check they have no remaining PAYE schemes still to join RTI – including any inactive schemes which they haven’t told HMRC have ceased.

HMRC apologises if the emails have caused any inconvenience or unnecessary concern to employers, agents or bureaus.”