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Tips for paying HMRC

Many small businesses pay HMRC quarterly. For these employers, the first payment deadline of the tax year is now approaching.

1) Tell them if you don’t pay anyone in a tax month.

This can be done using payroll software or HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools and, if you know that you won’t be paying an employee for some time, one return can cover up to six months. The Revenue expects at least one return each month, even if you pay quarterly. If you don’t send any return in a tax month, HMRC estimates the amount due monthly and (if you are a quarterly payer) you will be required to pay the estimated amount in full at the end of the quarter.

2) Tell HMRC if you have deducted anything from the amount apparently due.

For example, maternity pay or statutory sick pay. Unless you have told them about this, they will ask you to pay the full amount you have deducted from your employees.

3) Use the online PAYE Liabilities & Payments Viewer to check what you owe and what you have paid.

HMRC normally updates the amount owed on the sixth and twentieth of each month, based on all returns it has received to those dates. Any returns made after these dates will not show up until the next update. Some very recent payments may also not be displayed.

4) Pay and send returns on time and in full

As always, employers should pay the full amount and send their returns by the due date. Reporting in PAYE in real time does not change this nor does it change the payment deadlines.

5) Not started yet? Act now!

It is important that small businesses act now to get used to the new system before the new automated penalties and interest start in April 2014.

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