Small firms offered £75 to file tax returns online

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HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is offering small firms with less than 50 employees a £75 tax-free incentive to file their PAYE returns online before the 19 May deadline.

Since November 2004, businesses with 50 or more employees have been obliged to file their PAYE returns online. Small-business employers can still file their returns on paper, but HMRC is encouraging them to switch to online filing by offering the cash incentive.

Businesses that miss the 19 May deadline face a late filing penalty of at least £100 which increases each month past the due date.

“Employers should file their Employer Annual Return now so they avoid a last-minute rush and any late-filing penalties,” said HMRC spokeswoman Sue Williams.

HMRC’s online PAYE returns service applies quality checks to all returns and rejects those with errors. If any mistakes are found, employers receive an immediate email explaining the problem, so returns can be re-submitted correctly.

A podcast is available on the HMRC website, explaining how to complete an employer’s annual PAYE return.

Small businesses still qualify for the £75 tax-free payment if an intermediary, such as their accountant, files their return for them.

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