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HMRC defends confusing P35 reminder letters 16 May 2012

Many had already filed online

The letters have been introduced following a review by the Revenue into the unfair practice of letting P35 late penalties build up before issuing them, reported in Payroll World here

However they are sent out to everyone, even where a P35 has already been filed online.

Tax professionals on the Accountingweb website said that in some cases the letters were delivered to clients who assumed the P35 had already been filed on their behalf.

They added that this created a need for advisers to go back and confirm their P35 submissions had been successfully received.

A spokesman for HMRC told Payroll World: “I would point out that these were simply reminder letters, and that it does clearly state at the end ‘If you have already filed your return online or told us that a return is not due, thank you; no more action is needed. If you have not, please act now’”.

He also added that despite many people receiving letters dated two weeks back this was because they were all dated April 29 but sent out in batches.

Penalty notifications

The revised timetable for P35 return reminders and penalty notifications can be found on HMRC’s website here

From 31 May a ‘P35 Interim Penalty Letter’ will be issued over a five-day period so that it reaches employers within a month of the filing deadline of 19 May.

The letter will state that the employer has incurred a late return penalty and explain what to do to avoid it increasing.

See what other payroll professionals are saying about this article on LinkedIn here

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