Last Christmas, HMRC gave employers a temporary easement on reporting payroll information in real time, this year to save us from tears, they’ve given it to us again!
With December fast approaching, HMRC have presented us with an early Christmas gift in the form of a bulletin. This bulletin provides advice on what dates should be included on your Full Payment Submission (FPS) during the festive period. Regardless of whether you intend to pay your employees early at Christmas, you must still report your payroll with the normal payment date, even if the usual pay date falls on a weekend or bank holiday.
For example: if you pay on Friday 20 December 2019 but the normal/contractual payment date is Tuesday 31 December 2019, you should still report the payment date on the FPS as 31 December and ensure the submission is sent on or before 31 December.
The rationale behind this is to protect your employee’s eligibility for Universal Credit, as the assessment period for Universal credit is determined upon the dates submitted on the FPS.
Universal Credits are a social security payment, provided to those on low earnings or out of work to support them with daily living costs. If it looks as though someone has received two payments in one assessment period, it may affect their eligibility for Universal Credits and therefore leave them struggling financially.
Although the easement is only applicable for the Christmas pay period, ensuring you submit your FPS on the regular pay date should be applied throughout the remainder of the year.
For example, where an employee who is normally paid on the 30th of each month but is paid on the 29th in November 2019 (as the 30 November is a Saturday, which is a non-banking day) the employee must have 30 November reported as the payment date.
So remember, submitting your FPS with your regular payment date should be applied for life, not just for Christmas!