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P45 Filing Causes Disruption

April 8, 2013

HMRC’s Big Bang approach to RTI on 6 April has created difficulties for employers who still have to report employee departures for the prior tax year.

In the process of changing its PAYE systems over to RTI for the first day of the new tax year, HMRC has inadvertently switched off the capability to allow employers to file P45s for the prior 2012/2013 tax year that ended on Friday 5 April. Users of the Government Gateway have been reporting that they are unable to file P45 and P46 returns.

Because of HMRC’s decision to allow scheduled maintenance of the Government Gateway to run for over 48 hours in the crucial RTI changeover period as the tax year changed, employers wanting to file a P45 for a departing employee have found themselves unable to do so.

As Payroll World reported, “As a result if, for example, an employee left a business on April 4 when HMRC’s systems were down for scheduled maintenance an employer would not be able to send the P45 once the systems came back up.”

Employers are receiving the following error messages: “3001 the submission of this document has failed due to departmental specific business logic in the Body tag”; and “7818 this PAYE In Year Movement submission cannot be accepted as the employer has been invited to join RTI”.

It appears that in their determination to have no parallel operation of old and new systems of PAYE reporting after the 6th of April, HMRC has omitted to allow for a mechanism whereby routine reporting of employee changes for the last few days of the old tax year could take place once RTI started.

Steven Tucker, managing director of The Payroll Site, was reported by Payroll World as saying:

“Why HMRC decided to switch this feature off for past tax years is a mystery and it has come as a complete surprise to employers.

“At the same time as they are trying to grasp RTI businesses are faced with trying to work out why their P45s are being rejected – as if they didn’t have enough to worry about.

“The fact that the surprise removal of this feature coincided with downtime and a helpline strike has caused chaos.”

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