Overall, 68 percent of respondents had submitted their business’ payroll year end tax returns online before, or plan to do so this year as opposed to manual submission. Of those who have, their main reasons were that they saved time (and therefore money), and that the system was very easy to use. Most companies submit online in a timely manner, with 40 percent doing so as soon as the HMRC gateway submission opens, and 48 percent completing with a few weeks to spare.
Despite the positive results, there still remains a huge opportunity for the 32 percent of businesses who have yet to submit online. Under current guidelines, businesses that have between 1 and 49 employees have until 2010 before online payroll year end submissions become mandatory. However, if they do choose to submit online this year, they will receive a tax rebate of 150 and there is a remaining 175 available for online filers over the next two years. The survey shows that the current 520,000 businesses who do not currently submit their payroll year end tax returns online are missing out on a total combined tax benefit of around 78million** this year.
Jo Ray, Managing Director, Sage (UK) Limited Small Business Division comments, “Clearly from the results of the survey, there are great savings to be had by any business, but more needs to be done to make businesses aware of the benefits they are entitled to. Sage is committed to helping reduce the administrative burden placed on small businesses, and we work closely with HMRC on behalf of our customers to constantly review and improve the service they receive from HMRC via our solutions. As a result we have seen a growth, year-on-year in the numbers of companies that have been submitting online, and reaping the benefits. We pro-actively communicate with our payroll customers to make sure they are aware of when the deadlines are, and provide award winning support in the form of dedicated UK call centres and information via RSS feeds and e-mails as well as our website.”