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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer returns: employer return exceptions: Central Exception Processing Team (CEPT)

The Central Exception Processing Team (CEPT) is located at NICO and will process return exceptions arising within ChRIS.

The work list types are

To resolve the work item CEPT will carry out one or more of the following actions

  • Contact the employer to resolve the apparent discrepancy
  • Contact the Processing Office to obtain additional information about the employer / employer return
  • Ask the employer to submit an additional return to address the discrepancy. The additional return will be submitted to the appropriate Processing Office to be processed in the usual way
  • Create an electronic proforma return to force out return packages stranded within the Consolidation Area. These proforma returns are not regarded as filed by the employer and do not count as fully filed online for incentives / penalties. The returns can be viewed in the e-Filestore, and can be identified by the words CEPT - PROFORMA in place of the employer name. The returns can also be viewed using Function VIEW EOY RETURNS HISTORY
  • Record receipt of, then capture a nil return when further missing P14s have been located / resubmitted. P14 part(s) cannot pass ChRIS validation on their own, they also need a P35 to achieve consolidation

In-year cessations

An employer record is ceased when it is no longer required. The employer in year cessation return may be filed online. CEPT will send the details to the appropriate Debt Management Office. The Debt Management Office will then pursue the PAYE charges for the final period of trading. The Debt Management Office will also send a P212 to the appropriate Local Service office to notify them of the date the employer ceased.

For more information see the subject ‘Cessation of an employer record’ at PAYE21030.

Return type failures

The following returns received by paper will not be accepted automatically by ChRIS

  • A second Original Complete return received when an original return has already been recorded as received, consolidated and passed at RSI 2 to EBS and other systems


  • A second or subsequent return is received when no original return has been received

For paper returns CEPT will contact the employer to investigate and correct the situation.

Reconciliation check

ChRIS compares the monetary amounts on the P35 against the totals figure in box 3 on the forms P14, if

  • The figures do not match

CEPT will identify the error by

  • Checking whether any keying errors were made when processing the P35

And / or

  • Issuing a CA8413 to the Employer Unit requesting a copy of the P35 and any continuation sheets or copies of missing forms P145

And / or

  • Contacting the employer to resolve the query

If a part of the return is wrong CEPT will contact the employer who will be asked to submit an amended return.

Consolidation failures

ChRIS checks that all the return parts stated on the P35 have been received if a return part has been outstanding in ChRIS for more than 30 days.

CEPT will

  • Check whether when an employer submits a return in fewer parts than originally stated but the figures on the P35 match the totals on the P14s. If they do CEPT will move the return parts out of ChRIS to permit the return information to be captured on other systems

Or if the figure on the P35 does not match the totals on the P14s

  • Contact the employer to obtain the outstanding part, the return will then be consolidated at RSI 2


  • Record receipt of and then capture a pro forma return when a P14 part is held within ChRIS but it is no longer possible to obtain a return from the employer

Note: When a return received by PAYE Filed Online - Internet fails the quality checks in ChRIS corrections are made by CEPT. The correction pro forma return will be shown on EBS as a paper return, even though the original return was submitted electronically. In Function VIEW EOY RETURNS HISTORY the office number for these returns will start with 2859XX.

NIRS validation

The NIRS validation checks are made to ensure that

  • For each return the following is already on the National Insurance and PAYE Service (NPS) database

    • Employer reference number
    • The ECON number


  • The NI contributions have been paid correctly using Ratio Checks

CEPT will contact the employer to

  • Confirm the correct employer reference or ECON number


  • Inform the employer of the errors following the Ratio Checks and ask for an amended return to be submitted
Ratio Check Error Codes Failure reason
1 The total employee contributions (column 1e) cannot be more than the total of employee and employer contributions (column 1d).
2 For categories A, D, E, F and G (and Mariner equivalents) earnings must be recorded.
3 The total earnings recorded in column 1a (earnings at the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL)) exceed the maximum permissible for the year.
4 The category recorded on the End of Year Return (P14) is not compatible with the figures recorded in columns 1a to 1e.
5 The total earnings recorded in column 1b (earnings above the LEL up to an including the Earnings Threshold (ET)) exceed the maximum permissible for the year.
6 The total earnings recorded in column 1c (earnings above the ET up to an including the Upper Earnings Limit (UEL)) exceed the maximum permissible for the year.
7 Column 1e (employee’s contribution payable) is not compatible with the earnings recorded in column 1c (earnings above the ET up to an including the UEL).
8 Not used.
9 The total employer contributions due (column 1d - 1e) is not compatible with the earnings recorded.

CEPT Letters / Stencils

The following forms / stencils will be used when dealing with failures handled by CEPT.

Copies of the current version of the letter are available to view in pdf format in PAYE056.

Form Name To whom form is sent Purpose of the form / stencil
CA8412 Local Service Return has capture discrepancies
CA8412 app Local Service Appendix to CA8412 summarising discrepancies
CA8413 Local Service Requesting copy P35 / P14
CEPTL002 Employer Deleted / missing package
CEPTL003 Employer Request for additional EOY information
CEPTL004 Employer Amending EOY submission
CEPTL005 Employer Discrepancy on EOY submission