Beta This part of GOV.UK is being rebuilt – find out what this means

HMRC internal manual

Debt Management and Banking Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
, see all updates

Debt and return pursuit: PAYE: end of year: returns: clerical process

PAYE return pursuit

As a general rule, if the employer has made payments of PAYE & NIC, a debt has been established or you hold other information that amounts have been deducted from employees or directors, then a return is required. If however there is no evidence to suggest that a return will be required, you should consider if cancellation of the employer record either permanently or one year only is appropriate.

BROCS and IDMS will record any previous actions taken for the return and it is good debt management practice not to repeat any of these within a short period of time. When pursuing returns, you should aim to pursue any other outstanding returns, including CIS (see DMBM522170) unpaid liabilities, including penalties the employer may have at the same time.

The only automated return reminder you can issue is an AR6 from BROCS.

To issue an AR6 you should set:

  • a suitable NEXT ACTION DATE using CNA Format 4.

Requesting an AR6 will close any open IDMS return work item. If the return has still not been received after AR6 has been issued, it will be returned again to IDMS. AR6 reminders are not issued on a regular basis by BROCS so you should take this into account before arranging the issue of this reminder as this could delay the pursuit process.

How to make a PAYE return LAN

There may be circumstances when you want to bring a return to IDMS i.e. make LAN, for example to stop BROCS issuing any return reminders or to take early action.

To do this, use BROCS function CNA Format 2 or 3 against the appropriate return year.

Help with completing and filing a return

Employers can obtain help by visiting HMRC’s website.

Alternatively, they can get help with paper returns by ringing their Customer Operations office or for online returns by ringing the Employer’s helpline (0300 200 3200).

Paper return received by Debt Management TO

Employers should send paper returns to their Customer Operations office but there may be occasions when Debt Management TOs receive these, typically in cessation cases or if employers respond to a reminder. If the return is received:

  • before the end of the deduction year to which it relates, follow DMBM522515 
  • after the end of the deduction year to which it relates, send to the appropriate customer service office.

Employer will not or cannot send return

An employer may resist sending in their return for example if this shows an underpayment due. In these circumstances you should reassure employer that time to pay is an option and once the size of debt is known, you can then enter into realistic discussions on the choices available. Furthermore, until their return is received, their employees may not receive credit for the tax, NIC and Student Loan repayments they’ve paid affecting future entitlements to benefits and refunds.

(This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000) (This content has been withheld because of exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000)

No PAYE return due

An employer is not obliged to send a return, including a nil return, if there was no requirement to file one, although they should let their Customer Operations office know. This will stop unnecessary reminders being issued.

If you establish there is no requirement to file a return, you can arrange for the year to be closed either permanently or one year only, or in the case of PSC schemes, the scheme type changed to XP if subcontractors are continuing, by sending form P212 to Customer Operations.

Once the deduction year concerned has been cleared, either by cancellation (permanently or one year only) or by processing a nil return, any interim penalties already charged will be cancelled.

You will also need to consider the implications on any open years of schemes to be closed.

Tracing PAYE returns filed on paper or online

If an employer claims to have sent a return that is not shown on BROCS, you will have to check for evidence of receipt on other systems. If return processing has not yet started or concluded, it may not be possible to check for receipt and you should consider doing this at a later time.

For returns submitted:

  • on paper, contact Employer office (you will need to provide the date of submission)
  • online, check the tracking tool which can be accessed via My Services > Corporate Services > Tools > Track Messages > PAYE > PAYE End of Year (EOY) using the employer reference, not the accounts office reference.

Employer Business Service (EBS)

This will tell you if the return has been received and is being processed on to BROCS.