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Small employers urged to claim £75 online filing bonus

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has reminded firms employing fewer than fifty people that they can pick up a tax-free £75 bonus if they file their 2008/09 Employer Annual Returns online this year.

Employers with 50 or more employees must file their 2008/09 returns online, or face a penalty, but smaller firms still have the option of submitting their returns on paper or online.

Those that choose to file online, however, will be entitled to the £75 payment.

To file online, employers must first register with HMRC’s ‘PAYE Online for Employers’ service. It can take up to a week to get the Activation PIN after registering, so firms are being warned not to leave it until the last minute.

HMRC pointed out that small employers will still qualify for the £75 payment, even if their agents, tax advisers or payroll bureaux file online for them.

Employer Annual Returns are due by 19 May or late-filing penalties will apply.

A HMRC spokeswoman said: “We are accepting returns now and would urge all employers to send them in as soon as they are ready to avoid any last-minute rush.”

There is more information available from HMRC’s Employers Helpline on 08457 143 143 or online at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye