HMRC has announced that employers will not incur penalties for delays of up to three days in filing PAYE information.

Penalties for late payments will be reviewed on a risk-assessed basis rather than be issued automatically.

HMRC have stated filing deadlines have not been changed and filing is required on or before each payment date.

In order to prevent unnecessary penalties being issued, HMRC is looking to close PAYE schemes which have not been active or undertaken any RTI filings since April 2013. HMRC will write to the affected schemes to tell them about the planned closure and what to do if they are, or should be, operating PAYE.

Employers with fewer than 50 employees are reminded that PAYE late filing penalties will apply to them from 6 March.

Employers that have received in-year late filing penalties for the period 6 October 2014 to 5 January 2015 and were 3 days late or less, should appeal online by completing the “Other” box and add “Return filed within 3 days”.

HMRC is asking for comments on the way on which RTI penalties are applied. They have issued a discussion document stating:

As HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) delivers more digital services based around our customers, we are exploring the way that we apply penalties when people fail to meet their tax or entitlement obligations. HMRC is asking for comments on the high-level issues and will ask for further, more detailed feedback as the work progresses.

HMRC are considering whether to apply a different treatment to those who deliberately fail to meet statutory deadlines or settle their liabilities on time and between those who make genuine occasional errors.

Following the consultation, HMRC will review the operation of the changes to the PAYE penalties by 5 April 2016

RTI filings along with auto enrolment remain a hot topic of debate amongst small business owners.