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Christmas payroll advice for employers

26th November 2019

Employers that are planning to pay workers earlier than usual over Christmas can benefit from a temporary relaxation of real-time reporting of payroll.

The usual rule requires employers to report their payroll information through real-time information (RTI) to HMRC on or before the date of any payment.

However, the guidance eases this rule when an employer pays earlier or later because the usual pay-day falls on a weekend or bank holiday.

Businesses with a normal payment date of 31 December 2019, for example, should report that date as usual - even if they run payroll on Friday 20 December 2019.

While relaxing the rules over the festive period is nothing new, HMRC has issued the guidance much earlier than last year to give employers sufficient time to prepare.

Jon Stride, co-chair of the Association of Taxation Technicians' technical steering group, said:

"Last year, the guidance was not issued to employers by HMRC until 17 December 2018, which was too late for many employers.

"The payment date that employers report to HMRC can have a significant impact on the amount of universal credit received each month by their employees.

"Employers need to be aware of the recent guidance and consider if it will impact on their Christmas payroll."

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