HMRC has said that following a review of the three day easement and risk-assessed approach adopted last tax year – which has seen a significant reduction in returns filed late – it has decided to continue this approach for a further tax year. As a result employers will not incur penalties for delays of up to three days in filing PAYE information during the 2016-17 tax year.
It goes on to state that the three day easement is not an extension to the statutory filing date which remains unchanged. Employers are required to file on or before each payment date unless the circumstances set out in the ‘sending an FPS after payday guidance’ are met.
HMRC won’t charge a late filing penalty for delays of up to three days after the statutory filing date; however, employers who persistently file after the statutory filing date, but within three days, will be monitored and may be contacted or considered for a penalty.
HMRC will continue to review its approach to PAYE late filing penalties beyond 5 April 2017 in line with the wider review of penalties and will continue to focus on penalising those who deliberately and persistently fail to meet statutory deadlines, rather than those who make occasional and genuine errors for which other responses might be more appropriate. It is also made clear that late filing penalties will continue to be reviewed on a risk-assessed basis rather than be issued automatically.