From 6 October 2014 the HMRC computer automatically issues you with a penalty if you submit your full payment submission (FPS) under RTI “late”, or don’t submit it at all for a month in which you paid your employees.
So what makes the FPS “late”? HMRC say the FPS must be submitted on or before the day the employer pays the employees (the “payment date”). But is that the day the funds leave the employer’s bank account or the day the employee receives the money?
In fact the “payment date” for RTI purposes is neither of these dates. It is the date contractually agreed between the employer and the employee to be the date on which the employee is to be paid. If the funds happen to be passed to the employee on an earlier or later date, perhaps due to a bank holiday, that doesn’t change the “payment date”. This is explained in HMRC’s RTI guidance on non-banking days.
So whatever the payment date is in your employee’s contract (verbal or written), that is the date that you should enter in the payroll software as the regular payment date. As long as the FPS is submitted before that regular payment date, you should be able to avoid any late filing penalty.
In fact you will be allowed one late filing per tax year without incurring a penalty. The HMRC computer will warn you that you have submitted your FPS late by sending an electronic notice sent through HMRC’s PAYE online service. You may have already received some of these electronic warning messages, but at present no penalties have been issued. If you receive any more late filing warnings do let us know as the late filing penalties can be up to £400 per month for large payrolls.