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Paying PAYE on Time

Newsletter issue - May 2011.

HMRC are encouraging businesses to pay all their taxes electronically. Only large employers with 250 or more employees, are currently required to pay PAYE and other payroll deductions to HMRC by electronic means, but this may become compulsory for all employers from October 2013.

Before then let's hope HMRC will sort out their banking to make it easier for employers to pay on time. At present they do NOT operate the Faster Payment Service (FPS) on any of their bank accounts, so you need to allow at least three working days for an electronic payment to reach the HMRC account. This means electronic payments of PAYE must leave your bank on 19th to arrive on 22nd of the month, assuming none of those days falls on a weekend or bank holiday.

To reduce the likelihood of PAYE payments going missing HMRC ask taxpayers to always include the Accounts Office (AO) reference on any PAYE payment. HMRC also recommend that the year and month the payment relates to should be added on to the end of the AO reference, without leaving a space. For example, PAYE for month 01 in 2011/12 (due 22 May 2011 for electronic payments), add 1201 to the AO ref.