It is a fact that government policy is forcing businesses to provide an ever increasing list of information online but to combat the disproportionate impact on small businesses, free software is occasionally made available to help.

As I pointed out in More electronic filing, anyone? employers with fewer than 50 employees will have to file their 2009/10 PAYE ‘end of year’ forms P14 and P35 online. While in the following year most ‘in year’ forms must to be filed online as well.

The greater the number of employees the more practical an outsourced payroll bureau but if you are husband and wife directors or work in partnership with 1 or 2 family members (maybe employing a son or daughter) then is it time to reassess the benefits?

It clearly helps being a payroll expert in understand the language but along with the software guidance you do get a help line service courtesy of HM Revenue & Customs.

Payroll service for small businesses

To manage the transition to full payroll e-filing businesses with nine or fewer employees have access to a free PAYE ‘end of year’ online filing resource to help them file their 2009/10 forms P14 and P35 by 19 May 2010.

What is even more helpful is that upon registering for the service businesses are sent a CD enabling them to calculate payroll deductions on wages throughout the year (i.e. a P11 calculator). Thereby integrating the ‘in year’ wage process with the ‘end of year’ form P14 and P35 production – which makes sense as in 2010/11 many ‘in year’ forms will be online only.

Making the transition would be a big step but if you are not afraid of the technology and you have a simple payroll then consider the option and look into the service. If you feel you need help at the start then why not contact me.

Existing legislation is forcing compulsory online filing for payroll, VAT and corporation tax so if you are a ‘do-it-yourself’ kind of person then could it pay to get ahead of the new online filing culture?

Links to Revenue payroll guides & online service

PAYE overview for employers – click
Day to day payroll guide – click
Counting your employees – click

How to register for online PAYE – click
A walk through of the P11 calculator with functionality (pdf) – click
Revenue online services demo – click

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This article is for discussion purposes only and does not represent advice on which you should act without consulting a professional as tax legislation is complex and changes frequently.

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