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Returns must be sent online by the 19th May deadline.

With the 2011/12 tax year now ended, employers across the country are being reminded to send in their annual returns on time, or face a penalty.

Employer Annual Returns, which provide information on employees’ tax and national insurance deductions during the tax year, must be sent online to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by the 19th May deadline.

If you file your return late, you’ll be charged a penalty of £100 per 50 employees for each month, or part month, that your return is outstanding.

Employers who are not registered for online filing need to sign up now for HMRC’s PAYE Online service. The registration process only takes a few minutes, but you won't be able file online until you have activated the service using a code that HMRC sends you by post. This can take up to a week to arrive – so don't leave registration until the last minute.