|For a number of years it has been possible for an employer to submit P11D data on paper forms, a floppy disk or by magnetic tape. In a continued expansion of E-filing, P11D electronic submission has been further expanded to include 'Online Filing' This allows employers and bureaux to submit pre-formatted files via Internet connections. As with the disk and magnetic tape submissions, the formats and validations required are extremely complicated (the business rules alone for the P11D cover 35 pages). |
Use of the Online Filing option is one of the Government's prime objectives for easier, quicker and safer submission of end of year returns, including the P11D. Although the Inland Revenue has yet to impose a deadline by when P11D E-filing will become compulsory, or offer any incentives (such as the £250 available to small businesses for filing end of year returns electronically), it is expected that this will follow within the next couple of years.
Online Filing already provides several key benefits for an employer and for the bureaux acting for a number of employers. These include:
- Improving the accuracy of the returns submitted
- Improving the speed of completion of the returns
- Speedier acknowledgement of safe receipt and proof of submission
- Overall improved ease of handling
- Significant cost savings for large employers
- Ability to submit a test submission to verify that all mandatory fields have been completed and the format of the return is valid.
To take advantage of Online Filing an employer, or bureaux, will first need to be equipped with suitable software to complete the task. As with payroll software, the constantly changing regulations mean that it is very much more cost effective to make use of the commercially available P11D software, rather than investing a lot of time and money in writing and obtaining approval of an in-house product. There are a number of companies with established packages that can perform the necessary validations and calculations for you, and prepare the output in the correct format for submission to the Inland Revenue.
Employers will need to register the intention to file electronically with the Inland Revenue. If an employer has already registered for submission of PAYE (Online Services) returns on the Inland Revenue web site, that registration will also cover the submission of the P11D (Expenses and Benefits) returns. If not, then it will be necessary to register, in order to receive an 'Activation PIN' by post (which may take up to seven days to arrive).
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