Unused PAYE schemes to close

Employers who have not used their schemes are to receive letters from HMRC advising them their schemes will be shut down.

Any PAYE schemes opened after 5 April this year will be shut down automatically where the employer has not sent any PAYE returns or paid HMRC within four months of the scheme being set up. Schemes registered as annual schemes will not be closed by the process, however.

HMRC director-general for personal tax Ruth Owen said: “Closing schemes that are no longer needed is really important for businessesand for HMRC as it means that HMRC won’t waste employers’ or taxpayers’ time and money by needlessly pursuing returns or debts when in fact none are due.

“Since April, employers or agents (acting on behalf of their clients) who have set up PAYE schemes that are no longer needed can easily close the scheme by reporting this on their final submission. This new process helps further as it means we can identify and remove unnecessary schemes earlier.”