HMRC stakeholder update - number 11

21 March 2014

HMRC has circulated their eleventh weekly update for 2014 to stakeholders, which looks to provide informal highlights as a result of listening to employer feedback and working in partnership with stakeholders.

Percentage Threshold Scheme ending and the introduction of the Health and Work Service

To remind you that from 6 April 2014 you will no longer be able to claim under the Percentage Threshold Scheme (PTS) for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) paid for periods of sickness after 5 April 2014. At that point, employers will have until the end of the 2015 -16 tax year to recover SSP paid before the end of the 2013-14 tax year. Guidance will be updated in April on the GOV.UK/HMRC website. In the meantime more information is available in The HMRC Employer Bulletin February 2014 issue 46.

The funding released from the abolition of PTS will be reinvested into the new Health and Work Service, which will be introduced in late 2014.

Real Time Information

As explained in the What’s New on the HMRC Homepage Employers not reporting PAYE in real time must act now to avoid penalties. 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 they issued emails, on the 17th March 2014, 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, 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.

PAYE for employers: help for preparing for 2014 to 15

HMRC has produced 2 helpsheets on getting ready for April 2014 and the tax year ahead.

PAYE real time submissions: recent updates to guidance

Guidance to help employers avoid creating duplicate employments, and to reflect the staggered introduction of in-year penalties.

Toolkits: Agent survey results

Toolkits to help reduce errors: agent survey results

HMRC's key findings and response to series of workshops and an online survey about HMRC Agent Toolkits.