HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is understood to be sending out “Employer Compliance Check Questionnaires” without notifying agents, which could easily land a business in trouble if the wrong information is provided through a simple misunderstanding of what is required.
The very detailed questionnaires are understood to be a replacement or substitute for a PAYE audit, which would typically require a visit from HMRC to ensure that a business’s payroll is compliant and being managed correctly.
The series of extensive questions include:
- What does the business do?
- Where is the work carried out?
- What are the names of Directors, how are they paid and what are their responsibilities?
- Who prepares the payroll?
- Which payroll package is used?
- How many employees does the company have?
- Are employees paid below the national minimum wage? If so why?
- How many workers are paid off-payroll?
The questionnaire also goes into some detail about the expenses of the business including details of staff entertaining, work travel and loans to staff or directors.
Alongside the questionnaire, many employers are also asked to provide policies and documents, as well as key data about the business.
This new style of compliance checks should not be taken lightly, and we would recommend anyone who receives one should contact the person who manages their payroll or their accountant to ensure the correct information is provided.
Failing to complete the questionnaire or providing incorrect information could lead to additional investigations or a financial penalty.