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HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

Debt and return pursuit: PAYE: Introduction to PAYE: Annual Returns: Quality Standard (QS) checks applied to returns

Before a return is considered acceptable (or properly filed) it has to pass a series of quality standard checks - QS1, 2 and 3.


This check validates that a return is in a set acceptable format, for example entries are legible. This check is completed:

  • clerically on receipt of paper returns by Customer Operations offices or DMB for any in-year cessation paper returns
  • automatically by ChRIS to online and magnetic media submissions.

Returns have to pass this check to progress to QS2 and QS3.

QS2 and QS3

QS2 and QS3 checks are carried out by ChRIS.

  • QS2 checks the format of the submission; for example that the P14s are correctly completed.
  • QS3 checks that the amounts shown on the P35 and P14s agree.