Happy returns?

Employers in the East of England, which includes Bedfordshire, are being urged to file their Employer Annual Return online by May 19, or they could face a penalty.

Changes came into effect this year, which mean returns sent to the taxman after next Thursday will almost certainly result in a late-filing penalty:

Previously, a concession gave employers extra time before HMRC charged a penalty. This has now been withdrawn.

From this year, employers will be liable to a penalty if they file their annual return on paper (with limited exceptions). Last year, no penalty was charged for employers with five or fewer employees. But these transitional arrangements have now ended.

For more information visit www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye/payroll/year-end/errors.htm.

For help is available from HMRC via its Employers Helpline on 08457 143 143 or online at www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye.