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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer returns: employer return - quality checks: acknowledging employer returns

Offices are sometimes asked to acknowledge receipt of an employer annual return. Theresponse to such a request is that, unlike payments, it is not HMRC policy, and there isno statutory obligation, to acknowledge the receipt of returns.

The main reasons why HMRC does not acknowledge employer returns is that

  • Acknowledging the receipt of the return may cause confusion if the return fails the quality standard checks and is rejected and returned to the employer for correction
  • We do not provide acknowledgements for the receipt of Self Assessment (SA) or Corporation Tax Self Assessment (CTSA) tax returns and so are maintaining a consistent approach

In all cases where acknowledgement is requested (see below), our response andexplanation should include a reminder that receipts are available to those who fileelectronically by EDI and Internet. Electronic receipts are issued automatically after thereturn details have passed the quality standard checks.

If you receive a written request to acknowledge receipt of a return you should respondbriefly explaining why HMRC does not do so.

In all cases where the employer or their agent encloses with the return a stamped, selfaddressed acknowledgement, you should return it to the employer or agent with a letterbriefly explaining why HMRC does not issue acknowledgements.

General requests for acknowledgement of all returns, for example from an agent, should berefused.

If asked to acknowledge receipt over the phone or at an HMRC Enquiry Centre you shouldexplain that it is not HMRC policy to acknowledge returns and briefly say why.