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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer returns: employer return - quality checks: correction of failed returns (Action Guide)

To correct / reconstruct errors found on the return or return part, follow steps 1 - 18 below. The guide is presented as follows.

Step 1

Steps 2 - 3

Steps 4 - 9

Steps 10 - 11

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Step 18

For details of how to access any of the Employer Business Service functions, use PAYE057.

Initial action

It is essential that the quality standard checks are carried out on the date of receipt of the return or return part. For more information see subject ‘Paper quality checks’ PAYE40050.

Note: The machines used to scan forms P14 can only read details on approved forms and photocopies are not acceptable.

  1. Consider the reasons why the return or return part failed the quality standard checks
  • If any of the following reasons apply go to step 2
    • Faint print
    • Misaligned
    • Carbon Smudge
    • Small font size
    • Damaged form
    • Correcting fluid / sticky labels
    • Hole punched but still readable
    • Not Split - Not separated
    • Not Split - Stapled / glued
    • Not de-sprocketed
  • If any of the following reasons apply or the information needed to correct / reconstruct the return or return part is not held go to step 4
    • Incomplete return - missing P14s
    • P35 missing
    • P35 incomplete
    • P35 unsigned
    • Wrong version P35 and / or forms P14 for appropriate year
    • Unofficial / unapproved P35 and / or forms P14 received
    • Unreadable - Hole punched
    • Forms P14 missing
    • Part P14 cover sheet missing
    • Forms P14 have missing information
  • NINO. (If NINO missing date of birth and gender must be given. Temporary NINOs are not acceptable)
  • Name
  • National Insurance boxes
  • Pay column

Note: When tax table letter C is used box 1e will not have been completed.

Correction of failed return or return part

Employer returns or return parts can only be corrected / reconstructed, without returning the forms to the submitter, if the necessary information to make the correction / reconstruction is held

Note: Contact must not be made to obtain any missing / unreadable information. The return or return part must be sent back to the submitter using recorded delivery post.

  1. To correct / reconstruct the return or return part
  • Make any necessary correction / reconstruction using green ink
  • Separate any forms P14 which have not been split
  • De-sprocket any forms P14
  • Reconstruct any forms P14 as necessary
  • Mark any reconstructed forms P14 ‘proforma’

Note: The original copies of any forms P14 which have been reconstructed must be kept for audit purposes.

  1. Record receipt of the return or return part using EBS Function RECORD RETURN RECEIPT. Follow the Action Guide ‘Recording receipt of employer return’ PAYE41041

Returning failed return or return part

When a return is incomplete or incorrect and fails to meet the quality standard checks it must be returned to the submitter using recorded delivery post

  1. Cross through, using green ink, the date stamped on the front of the return or return part

  2. Use EBS Function RETURN RECORD RECEIPT to record the failure details on the tracking tool in ERIC

  3. Use SEES in Microsoft Word to generate a failure letter

  4. Make an entry in the employer-related electronic file ‘Employers making mistakes on EOY Returns’

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Resubmission of failed return or return part

All return or return parts received with a previous date stamped on the front, which has been crossed out in green ink, should be checked to ensure the quality standards are met

  1. Date stamp the return with the date the resubmitted return was received

  2. Apply the quality standard checks to ensure the resubmitted return or return part meets the quality standard checks in subject ‘Checks prior to recording receipt of a return’ PAYE40015

  • If the resubmitted return or return part passes the quality standard checks go to step 12, or
  • If the resubmitted return or return part contains errors which can be corrected / reconstructed go to step 12, otherwise
  • If the resubmitted return fails the quality standard checks and the errors cannot be corrected / reconstructed go back to step 4

Recording re-submission and reviewing Temporary Inhibition signal

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Returns sent back undelivered

  1. The return may be sent back to the Processing Office with a note stating that the Post Office was unable to deliver the package

In these cases the Post Office will have been unable to get someone to sign for the package and will have left a note at the delivery address asking for someone to collect the package from the Post Office

Where the package is not collected the Post Office will return it to the Processing Office

On receipt back you must

  • Contact the submitter and explain what has happened
  • Arrange for the return to be sent back to them for correction
  • Inform the submitter that until the return is corrected by them, penalties may be accruing