In a new initiative all PAYE returns will have to be done online by October 2013. Pilot schemes are running from April 2013
The biggest change is that all employers will have to file pay and tax details for their employees online when wages are paid – rather than at the end of the tax year. In the current form the HMRC only knows the true liabilities on the 19th of May following the end of the tax year when the P35 is filed.
Failure to file these returns online in "real time" will result in fines from £2000 for smaller businesses and much more for large businesses. HMRC are likely to know about businesses that are late with payments at a very early stage. This means that companies need to be ready to talk to HMRC at an early stage
If your business is having problems paying PAYE then it may be that a "Time to Pay" arrangement can be agreed with HMRC to allow the paying off of tax over a short time scale of say 6-12 months.
It remains to be seen whether this will be easier to do than the usual PAYE filing but if the system is well designed and simple to use it should not be a larger burden on small businesses. Here's hoping!