When Real Time Information was first introduced, one of the surprising limitations was that, if employers didn’t send details of all wage payments within two weeks of the end of the tax year, HMRC would start automatically rejecting them. HMRC has now confirmed that this is going to change in April 2019.
Employers normally send information about wage payments in a Real Time Information return called a Full Payment Submission (FPS). In previous years, any information that wasn’t sent by the 19th April would need to be sent in a different format, called an Earlier Year Update (EYU). An FPS includes the tax year’s totals for pay, tax and other items. The EYU format doesn’t include totals, but, instead, it includes adjustments to these figures – i.e., the amount to add to, or subtract from, the totals already held. This means that you could only send a correct EYU if you knew what figures HMRC already held.
This confusing situation led to what our customer service team called ‘EYU Day’ on 20th April, or the next working day if it fell on the weekend. The team would speak to large numbers of customers who were confused as to why they couldn’t file FPS returns and what they should do instead.
This coming April, FPS submissions for the old tax year will still be accepted and processed by HMRC, even after 20th April. A late FPS may attract a penalty, but there will be no need to file a separate return in a different format (unless you want to). This is a very welcome change and marks the end of EYU Day. We may even turn it into a day of celebration!