Under real time information (RTI) PAYE reporting, a Full Payment Submission (FPS) report is required to be made to HMRC every time an employee is paid, not just once after the end of the tax year as is currently the case. RTI will be compulsory for most employers from the first pay date following 6 April 2013.
Many one-person companies may wish to pay the director just once a year and avoid monthly RTI reporting. If you want to do this, you must first check that your payroll software will cope with an annual payroll, as many main-stream payroll software packages do not.
The second stage is to understand what reports HMRC will require under RTI. An annual payroll must be registered with HMRC. The current advice on the HMRC website says: "If all payments on which tax and NICs are due are paid to your employees annually in a single tax month, you can ask HMRC to be treated as an 'annual payer'. You must use the same month every year, so if this changes or you start paying your employees more frequently, you will need to tell HMRC."
There should be more guidance on the HMRC website about annual payrolls soon. If you do not register the payroll as being annual you will need to submit an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) to HMRC every month, which shows nil payments made to the employee.
Where an employee is paid irregularly, i.e. less often than once a month, it is essential that the irregular payment marker is made in the payroll software against that employee, as otherwise the HMRC computer system may delete that person from the payroll.
If you want to pay yourself a regular amount every month, and minimise the RTI reporting hassle, your payroll software may allow you to prepare all the FPS returns for the entire year in advance. However, you must check whether your particular payroll software will do this. You won't be able to prepare monthly FPS returns for the entire year in arrears, those FPS reports must be done in advance or at the time of payment.
If you need any advice about RTI please contact us.
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