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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer returns: employer EOY penalties: end of year exception list

Whilst the issue of the vast majority of penalties is fully automatic and no office screening or intervention is required, there are circumstances where you must first take some other action.

Such cases requiring further action are automatically identified by ECS and included in the on screen end of year exceptions list for review.

The list is automatically updated daily and includes for review all cases where

  • A penalty seems appropriate (as a late return has been received or the return is outstanding at the close of business on the interim penalty issue dates of 19 September / January / May)


  • ECS cannot automatically issue a penalty as one (or more) of the following exceptions list criteria applies

    • `Multiple’ that is, the return now received is not the first of the year

    Note: ECS cannot distinguish between a genuine return submitted by the employer / contractor and any pro-forma return prepared to correct / amend the charge. Consequently where a pro-forma return is processed after the filing date for any reason, the case will correctly appear on the Exceptions List for review.

    • ‘Trading name’ that is, a trading name is shown on the EBS employer record and an ‘Address to’ name is not already recorded in Employer P35 Penalty History
    • ‘Appeal’ that is, there is an outstanding appeal for an existing penalty for that year
    • ‘RLS’ that is, the RLS signal is set on the employer’s EBS record
    • ‘Temp inhib’ that is, the Temporary Inhibition signal is set for the year

The list must be reviewed and action taken in accordance with the guidance

  • Immediately after each automatic interim penalty cycle has taken place for the P35 (September / January / May) and the P11D(b) (November / March / July)
  • Regularly throughout the rest of the year

The size of the list will vary throughout the year, for example, most late P35 returns are received between the May due date and the end of August, therefore it may be worthwhile reviewing the list weekly (or more often) during this period.