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HMRC internal manual

Compliance Handbook

Penalties for failure to file on time: types of penalties for failure to file on time: PAYE Real Time Information returns: overview

Real Time Information (RTI) employers must submit information about payments made to employees on or before the date on which payment is made. For most employers this will mean making multiple returns to HMRC on a weekly or monthly basis, instead of one annual return (forms P35 and P14) at the year end.

An employer is liable to a penalty if during a tax month they fail to file one or more RTI returns by the filing date. The filing date for an RTI return is the date the payment was made. Paragraph 6C(6) provides that an employer will only be liable to one penalty for each tax month for each PAYE scheme.

The amount of penalty depends on the number of employees in the PAYE scheme.

Number of employees Amount of penalty
From 1 to 9 £100
From 10 to 49 £200
From 50 to 249 £300
250 or more £400

An employer may also be liable to a further penalty where the failure to make a return on or before the filing date continues beyond the period of 3 months beginning with the date after the filing date and the employer has not reported all of the outstanding payments on a later return, see CH62880.



Un-penalised first default

For each tax year an employer will not be charged a penalty for the first tax month during which they fail to file one or more returns on time. However, this exemption does not apply to employers who operate an annual PAYE scheme and are only required to file on return per year (paragraph 6C(4)).

New employers

New employers will not be charged a penalty for failing to file a return on or before the filing date during the initial period. The initial period is 30 days beginning with the date they were required to make their first RTI return in the initial period (paragraph 6C(3)), see CH62860.

FA09/SCH55/PARAS 6B - 6D