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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: PAYE: introduction to PAYE: annual returns: requirement to file a return online

Whether or not an employer has to file online for a particular tax year depends on their segmentation band for that year. Large employers have had to file online from 2004-05 and medium employers from 2005-06.

Small employers have been required to file online from 2009-10. To encourage them to do so, for their 2004-05 to 2008-09 returns, they were awarded a tax-free payment for successfully filing their return online. However, if the return is a ‘nil’ one, a tax-free payment is not awarded. An incentive award can still be awarded if these years’ returns are filed online albeit late.