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Employers reminded of looming annual returns date

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has reminded employers that the date for filing their annual employer returns is imminent.

Employers need to submit the returns by 19 May or else face the risk of a penalty.

HMRC said that, so far, some 27.1 million returns, a P14 for each individual employee and a P35 summarising the details for the entire workforce, have been received online.

Given that there are only a few days to go before the deadline, employers that have yet to file their returns should finalise the information and submit them to HMRC as soon possible.

Large employers – those with 50 or more staff in the workforce – must file their 2008/09 Employer Annual Returns online or they could be liable to an extra penalty charge.

Smaller employers – those with fewer than 50 employees – can still file their return on paper but will be entitled to a £75 tax-free payment if they choose to file online. They can qualify for the payment whether they file online themselves or through their tax advisers or a payroll bureau.

To file online, employers must first register with HMRC’s ‘PAYE Online for Employers’ service.

As it can take a week to receive the Activation PIN once an employer has registered, it is important to sign up well in advance of the filing deadline.

Don Macarthur, the head of HMRC’s employers’ team, said: “Time is running out. We have already received over 27.1 million returns online this year, so, if you are due a tax-free payment, make sure you don’t miss out by filing by 19 May.”

Support and advice are available from HMRC’s Employers Helpline on 08457 143 143 or online at