York, United Kingdom (PressExposure) April 26, 2008 -- Small businesses need to catch up with online filing legislation and file their Employers Annual Return online by 2010. To be ready for the change, small businesses should invest in payroll software now.
"Small businesses should seriously consider filing online as soon as possible - this will ensure they are ready for the legislation changes in 2010, avoid being fined for late or incorrect submissions and claim the tax-free payments from HMRC, which still amount to Â£175.00 over the next two years," Rebecca Haines from DMC Software Solutions advises.
The Marketing Manager at a company specialising in Sage CRM systems points out that there are numerous payroll accounting software products on the market which are capable of sending both Employers Annual Returns and in-year forms online and meeting HMRC Quality Standard - for most there is little need to have payroll expertise and most functions are managed automatically.
Sage Payroll is the most used payroll accounting software in the UK; it was by far the largest submitter of Employer Annual Returns online last year, representing 25% of the P14s (employee submissions) filed - this is no surprise given that there are more installations of Sage Payroll than all their competitors combined.
"Many small companies may decide to outsource their payroll in light of the new requirements as they think that it's too complicated to run in-house, but that's no longer the case as most payroll software manages all the legislation changes automatically.
"In fact, businesses could save a lot of money running payroll themselves and it could give them more control over their labour costs, hours worked and absences," Rebecca Haines explains.
Small businesses generally have two choices, they can:
â¢ Use payroll software in-house
â¢ Use an intermediary like an agent or Payroll Bureau who can file on behalf of the business.
The payroll software used must be capable of submitting Employers Annual Return online and must meet HMRCs Quality Standard, which checks and verifies the data prior to submission. If an intermediary is being used, the business is responsible for ensuring they are using the correct software.
Sage Payroll, the most popular payroll software in the UK, is fully automated and meets HMRC Quality Standard plus there is no need to be a payroll expert to run the software.
"With new technology, and the lure of instant return on investment with tax-free payments of up to Â£175.00, small businesses certainly shouldn't be anxious about online filing, in fact they should see it as a way of evaluating their payroll practices, enjoying the benefits of online filing and claiming the tax-free incentive payment for an instant return on their investment," Rebecca Haines encourages.
Notes to editors:
â¢ Online filing is simply the term for sending PAYE forms to HMRC electronically, cutting the need for paper returns. Currently it's only mandatory for employers to send their Employers Annual Return online; however compulsory submission of in-year forms (P45 (1) P45 (3) and P46) will be in force soon (2009 for large businesses and 2011 for small businesses).
â¢ The new online filing legislation was introduced in 2002 and it's already mandatory for large and medium-sized businesses (those with more than 50 employees) to file their Employers Annual Return online. Nearly one and a half million employers filed their Employers Annual Return last year and many more are set to join them in 2008.
â¢ Small employers (those with fewer than 50 employees) will be required to follow suit by 2010 and generous incentives have been in place since 2002 for small businesses who file online early.