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New P35 process ‘shows that HMRC is prepared to listen’

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Tax agents have welcomed new HMRC procedures aimed at reducing the number of employers facing penalties for late filing of annual returns.

One of the objectives set by the joint initiative on service delivery, launched last September, was to address concerns about delays in reminding employers that their PAYE returns were late and that penalties were accruing monthly.

A number of agreed measures to deal with the problem were set out in a joint statement published by HMRC and professional bodies and tax charities.

These included undertakings that HMRC would issue in the middle of this month the ‘notification to complete’ the 2011/12 form P35, and that ‘from 28 April 2012, where we believe a 2011/12 P35 remains outstanding, we will issue an “Employer Annual Return Reminder”’. The filing deadline is 19 May.

‘We have been working very closely with HMRC to deliver this result,’ said Frank Haskew, Head of the ICAEW Tax Faculty. ‘It shows that the joint initiative on improving service delivery is working and that HMRC is prepared to listen. This will be very welcome news to employers who faced fines in 2011 and who will not have been relishing the prospect of a re-run in 2012.