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

HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer returns: employer return - quality checks: record failure


An employer / contractor is expected to submit an annual return or return part for each income tax year for which an employer scheme is in operation.

Reference to CIS in this information applies to the old CIS scheme for to years up to April 2007, when ‘New CIS’ was introduced.

Quality standard checks must be made immediately on all return forms and the employer / contractor notified promptly if the return or its enclosures are not acceptable. For more information see subject ‘Checks prior to recording receipt of a return’ PAYE40015.

Standard failure letters

All returns or return parts must pass the quality standard checks before the date of receipt of that return can be recorded on the Employer Business Service (EBS) using Function RECORD RETURN RECEIPT.

Any return which is incomplete or incorrect and fails to meet the quality standard must be returned to the submitter using recorded delivery post.

Function RECORD RETURN RECEIPT can be used to record the failure reason(s) if the return is one of the following

  • Failure to complete P35
  • Failure to complete Part P35
  • Successful Part P14 without cover sheet
  • Failure of Part P14 with cover sheet
  • Failure of Part P14 without cover sheet


1. You can only use Function RECORD RETURN RECEIPT to record a failure reason for a return relating to 2005 onwards
2. Failure information recorded on EBS is sent to the tracking tool in ERIC
3. The processing office needs to use SEES in Microsoft Word to generate a failure letter

Letters for other failures

If a quality standard failure occurs with the following returns an appropriate letter should be produced using LFC, to send back the return immediately to the employer / contractor. Note: The Returning Unacceptable Forms P35 and P14 Letter (Word 26KB) may be used as a guide

  • Failure to complete P35 (for years up to 2004)
  • Failure to complete CIS36
  • Failure to complete P35MT (for years up to 2004)
  • Failure to complete P35 derivative (P35 = P524 / P525, P35EP + P524 / P525, and P35TAS + P440)
  • Failure to complete SC35 / SC11 (for years up to 98-99)