HMRC have now begun to issue the first penalty notices to employers with 50 or more employees that have not filed their starter and leaver forms online in the period 6 January 2011 to 5 April 2011. The requirement for employers with 50 or more employees to file forms P45 (Parts 1 and 3), P46, P46 (Pen) and P46 (Expat) online was introduced in April 2009 but HMRC had adopted a light touch until now in respect of penalties for not filing online.
The penalties for failing to file online range from £100 up to a maximum of £3,000 depending on the number of forms that should have been filed online. Penalty notices for not filing starter and leaver forms online will be issued after the end of the quarters ended 5 July, 5 October, 5 January and 5 April.
The requirement for employers with fewer than 50 employees to file their starter and leaver forms online was introduced on 6 April 2011. HMRC have confirmed that they will not charge penalties during the three quarters ending 5 July 2011, 5 October 2011 and 5 January 2012 but will issue letters to employers from late April when they have not filed a form online. The letter is intended to alert employers that they may have to review their processes to ensure they are filing all relevant forms online.