By Elaine Gibson, Senior Policy Officer at the IPP invited the Institute of Payroll Professionals to give you the top tips to file a paper tax return successfully.

Payroll professionals are under an obligation to file returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on a regular basis. The main returns being in-year forms, monthly and quarterly reporting and payment of Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) and the End of Year Return Annual forms P35 and P14. Last but not least, also required are forms P11D/P11D(b) for reporting Benefits and Expenses.

HMRC have been gradually changing the filing obligation from paper to e-submissions and this applies to all employers;small, medium and large. Paper filing is becoming a thing of the past;however there are still occasions where paper is still permitted. This is a good point to reiterate the e-filing deadlines and to bear in mind that to not follow these will result in penalties being imposed".

End of Year Return forms P35 and P14 - All employers must now file these online by the 19 May in any tax year.

There are a few exemptions which would apply and further information can be located here
and #61656;Employers operating HMRC's simplified deductions scheme for domestic employees
and #61656;Exemption on religious grounds
and #61656;Employers who employ someone to provide care or support services at or from their home

Monthly Returns for PAYE - All employers must make returns for payments of PAYE electronically.

In year forms P45 and P46:

  • Employers who employ 50 or more employees must file these forms online
  • Less than 50 can still file paper returns. From 6 April 2011 these employers must file in year forms online

End of Year forms P11D/P11D(b):

  • These forms can still be submitted in paper form;however they can also be submitted online

Top tips are:

Ensure you follow the HMRC timetable for filing deadlines, be it for the mandated online process or permitted paper submissions. The calendar is located on the HMRC webpages within the "Employers" section.

  • If you pay less than 50 employees and submit in-year forms to HMRC for new starters and leavers, make sure that you keep a professional eye on the introduction of penalties for submission on paper after 6 April 2011. Penalties for small employers are to start in the 4th quarter of tax year 2011courses/finance/2.
  • View the HMRC section relating to common errors for submission of in year forms to avoid paying penalties.
  • Common errors for End of Year returns can be found here
  • Final tip - HMRC would urge any business or individuals to file returns online rather than on paper. The electronic method is quick and secure. In the absence of sophisticated software employers can submit forms and returns via the online portal on HMRC web pages. Individuals personal tax paper returns (self-assessment) must be submitted on or before 31st October. The deadline for Online Self Assessment is 31st January.

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About the IPP. The IPP is a 25-year-old membership organisation that wants to achieve chartered status (formerly known as The Institute of Payroll and Pensions Management until Sept 2006). The Institute offers:

  • Training and professional payroll and pensions qualifications
  • Professional designatory letters, e.g. MIPP
  • Advisory Service and weekly e-newsletter with all the latest industry news called News On Line
  • Continuing Professional Development programme encouraging self-improvement and career development structure
  • A unique standards-based accreditation called the Payroll Quality Partnership (PQP) scheme for organisations and individuals
  • A membership magazine issued ten times a year called PayrollProfessional
  • Representation at the highest levels of government through a very active Policy team
  • Participation in a long range strategy to change the perception of the payroll profession
  • Regular events, meetings, conferences.