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Tips on Payroll to HMRC

by William Beel

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For many accountants, the concept of payroll is daunting to say the least. With a myriad of options for payroll administration and a plethora of payroll providers, how does one choose the right payroll solution? This problem is not unique to UK accountants. All large and medium accountancy firms in the UK employ payroll services from an external provider. When choosing a payroll provider, it is important to do your homework carefully and take into consideration the needs of your firm as well as the skills, expertise, and payroll management experience of the provider you eventually choose. Outsourcing your payroll to a reputable payroll provider who can offer you the solutions you need at a price you can afford is an excellent way to ensure your company runs efficiently on a day-to-day basis.

Payroll Services

Most payroll providers offer their employees a variety of payroll services and options. These options are typically not available through all payroll providers but are generally very useful and convenient for employees. Some examples of these services include online submission of federal and local taxes, the ability to file employee records online, print payroll checks, and pay day loans. Most large and medium sized firms run their payroll smoothly with a solid payroll system in place.

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Outsourcing the Payroll 

The concept of payroll to HMRC is relatively new to UK businesses. Many employers in the UK are now beginning to consider the possibility of having all employees take responsibility for their own payroll. By taking employees out of the equation and outsourcing the payroll function to a reputable payroll provider, firms can save a considerable amount of money on both administering payroll and paying out the appropriate amounts to their employees. By freeing up payroll administration time, this also frees up the time earmarked for other areas within the business. This article will go into more detail about payroll to HMRC and how it works for employers in the UK.

HMRC Responsibility

Before an employer can start to take payroll to HMRC responsibility, they will need to compile six months of financial records. These records should include all of the employees’ annual salary and all expenses such as: tax, national insurance, vehicle allowance, council tax, housing benefit, income support, superannuation, and any additional payments that are based upon an employee’s employment status. For UK payroll to HMRC this information should be submitted to the Revenue Scotland department in the form of a completed form. Once the form has been submitted the employee’s employment status will be reviewed and a suitable HMRC payment will be issued.

Accounting Procedures 

Payroll to HMRC is typically used by small and medium-sized firms to streamline their employee record keeping. By taking responsibility for their own payroll, employees are more likely to notice any changes to their accounting procedures or filing. Small and medium sized firms can also save significant amounts of time when processing their pay slips through the automated process that payslips. Payroll to HMRC requires the submission of three years of financial records. At the end of the year an employee should forward all of their payslips to the Revenue Scotland office for review. If there are any discrepancies in the records then the appropriate documentation should be forwarded along with the payroll to HMRC for follow up.

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Payroll System 

A majority of UK companies use a payroll system to calculate their employees’ National Insurance contributions, also called National Insurance premiums. The process of payroll to HMRC is usually handled by an administrator that receives payments from the employer. With this in mind an administrator will generally make every effort to ensure that all of the employees’ requirements are met. In some cases a company may find that they can submit their employee’s requirements directly to an HMRC adviser that will then make the necessary adjustments.

Company Accounting Software Program

A majority of UK companies are unable to process payroll information from an outside source because of security and privacy issues. However, a majority of UK companies still choose to use an outside provider because of the additional processing power that these third party service providers have. In the past, an administrator would have to manually enter the data into a company accounting software program. These days however automatic data entry has proven to be invaluable to many businesses especially those that have a high volume of payroll information.

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Payroll Administrator

The majority of UK businesses have both an in-house payroll administrator as well as an external outsourcing administrator. For those that do not employ an administrator, the company has the option to hire one in-house. Hiring an in-house administrator can help to streamline the payroll process while still maintaining control of the process. The main downside to in-house payroll administration is that employees are still susceptible to errors. External administrators do not suffer this drawback, so it may make more sense to hire one of these third-party outsourcing companies for processing payroll data.

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