Beware of HMRC delays when setting up PAYE direct debits

Published: 24th February 2023

One of the professional accountancy bodies is warning that employers need to allow additional time to set up new variable direct debits for PAYE. Why?

HMRC’s guidance on PAYE states that employers should set up direct debits at least six working days in advance of the payment due date. Following an update on HMRC delays provided to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), it turns out that more notice is needed in order to meet the deadline. HMRC’s guidance has not been amended, but the ICAEW is warning that new variable direct debits need to be set up by:

  • 10 March for PAYE due on 22 March; and
  • 12 April for PAYE due on 22 April.

The recommendation is that employers set up new direct debits at least nine working days prior to the payment due date. This service is still relatively new and HMRC is working to improve the process.

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