As an employer you are responsible for deducting the correct amount of national insurance from the payments made to your employees. In addition employer’s national insurance contributions must also be made.

What is National Insurance?

National Insurance contributions are compulsory payments made by employees, employers, and the self-employed towards certain state benefits. The contributions are made at various different rates.

Payments are made if you are aged between 16 and the state retirement age and earn over £162 per week as an employee or have profits exceeding £6,205 as a self-employed person.

Employers must make National Insurance contributions for all employees who are over the age of 21 and earn in excess of £162 per week (£892 per week for those aged 16 to 21, or an apprentice under the age of 25). They must also make additional payments for certain benefits and expenses provided to their employees.

Most employers are eligible to claim the employment allowance, which is a reduction in the employer’s national insurance contributions of up to £3,000 per annum. This allowance must be claimed by submitting an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) (see What is the deadline for submitting information about income tax deductions below). For companies where the director is the sole employee, the allowance cannot be claimed.

What is the deadline for paying National Insurance to HMRC?

The amount that must be paid to HMRC is:

  • The income tax and national insurance reported in your Full Payment Submission FPS in the previous tax month
  • Less any reductions from your EPS which have been reported before the 19th of the current month.

Greater than £1,500

If the amount payable is greater than £1,500 per month, the amount is due by the 22nd of the month if paid electronically (19th if paid by post). For example an FPS was submitted on 31st May and an EPS on the 18th June, the amount is due by 22nd June if paid electronically.

Less than £1,500

The standard procedure is to pay monthly but that it may be possible to pay quarterly.

If the amount payable is less than £1,500 per month, the amount is due by the 22nd of the quarter if paid electronically (19th if paid by post).

The quarter dates are:

  • 5th July – amount due by 22nd July
  • 5th October – amount due by 22nd October
  • 5th January – amount due by 22nd January
  • 5th April – amount due by 22nd April.

 

What penalties may I incur if I file late?

You may be charged a penalty if:

  • your Full Payment Submission was late, or
  • you did not send in the expected number of Full Payment Submissions, or
  • you failed to send an Employer Payment Summary when no employees were paid.

However, there will be no charge for your first failure in a tax year to send a report on time.

The amount of the penalty will depend on the number of employees you have:

Number of employeesMonthly penalty
1-9£100
10-49£200
50-249£300
£250 or more£400

 

If the report is more than 3 months late, an additional penalty of 5% of the income tax and national insurance you should have reported may be charged.

What penalties may I incur if I pay late?

You may be charged a penalty if your payment to HMRC is late.

The amount of the penalty will depend on the number of defaults in a tax year (excluding the first default):

Number of defaultsPenalty
1-31% of the late amount
4-62% of the late amount
7-93% of the late amount
10 or more4% of the late amount

 

If any amount remains outstanding after six months an additional 5% of the unpaid amounts could be charged and a further 5% after 12 months.

What penalties may I incur if my return is wrong?

If HMRC discovers careless or deliberate errors, the penalties that could be charged depend on the type of behaviour and whether you were prompted by HMRC to disclose it:

Type of behaviourUnprompted disclosurePrompted disclosure
Reasonable careNo penaltyNo penalty
Careless0% to 30%15% to 30%
Deliberate20% to 70%35% to 70%
Deliberate and concealed30% to 100%50% to 100%

How can I appeal against a penalty?

If you get a penalty you will be sent a notice which will tell you how and what to pay.

Failure to pay a penalty within 30 days will result in interest being charged.

An appeal against a penalty can be made online or via the post, you can appeal if:

  1. you think the penalty is not due, or
  2. you think the amount of the penalty is incorrect, or
  3. you had a reasonable excuse, the HMRC website gives guidance on what is classed as a reasonable excuse.

Next Steps

Find out the information to be included in every full payment submission on GOV.UK

If you're paying employees through PAYE, find out what to put in your Full Payment Submission and Employer Payment Summary.

Read more

Register for HMRC's online services here

To use HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) online services you need to register for an Online Government Gateway Account, and then enrol for the specific service(s) you want to use. If you are a business and use the online tax registration service to register for Self Assessment/Class 2 NICs, Corporation Tax, PAYE for employers, or VAT, a Government Gateway account will be created for you as part of that process. You will also automatically, in most cases, be enrolled for the associated online services.

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