HMRC delay RTI penalties (again!)

HMRC have this afternoon announced that the RTI late and non filing automatic penalties due to come in from October 2014 will be phased. Schemes with 50 or more employees (measured in August 2014 we believe) will still face penalties from October 2014 with all small schemes subject to late/non filing penalties from March 2015. Schemes will be told the size that HMRC believes applies to their scheme by the issue of a GNS message early next week (as usual agents will receive these). If they disagree that they have 50 or more employees they can write to HMRC to ask to be moved into the small category. Schemes that face penalties from October are not penalised for the first tax month in which they have any late or non filing failures. This means the first penalties issued in January 2015 (at the end of the first quarter) will be for a maximum of two month’s failures. There will be no unpenalised month for small schemes that go live in March. All schemes will then face late payment penalties from April 2015 (unless they delay those too!). From 19th September HMRC will write to schemes with 50 or more employees who have had a late/non filing GNS since the start of the tax year to warn them that they need to be aware that penalties start from 6th October 2014

The press release below also contains a cryptic reference to ‘other ways to encourage employers to comply with the rules, in addition to financial penalties’ I understand this to be the way that the hash cross reference can be used to assist with proving compliance – more as soon as I have some detail for you.