HMRC have issued details of a special arrangement for reporting the Christmas payroll. This easement aims to help universal credit claimants where their employer pays them earlier than usual due to the Christmas period – without it, some claimants may find their awards reduced or stopped altogether.
The usual rule for employers is that they should report their payroll information through RTI (Real Time Information) to HMRC ‘on or before’ the date of any payment. However, HMRC guidance contains a relaxation of this rule when an employer pays earlier or later because the usual pay-day falls on a weekend or bank holiday. Extended arrangements for Christmas – which were first introduced last year and have now been made permanent – direct employers to use the contractual payment date on their submission to HMRC, rather than the actual pay date.
Jon Stride, of the Association of Tax Technicians, said: “We welcome that HMRC have issued the guidance well ahead of Christmas this year. Last year the guidance was not issued to employers by HMRC until 17 December 2018, which was too late for many employers.
“The date of payment that employers report to HMRC can have a significant impact on the amount of universal credit received each month by their employees. Employers need to be aware of the recent guidance and consider if it will impact on their Christmas payroll.”
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