All PAYE returns will have to be done online by October 2013 with many companies starting to do it 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. The way it currently works 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 and be more ready to issue winding up petitions.
Keith Steven has written in the Accountingweb.co.uk website where he points out that after the true liabilities are found some time later the HMRC has been more ready to allow a time to pay deal. This is less likely to be the case in 2013.