Pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) schemes that have been inactive for a minimum of 120 days will be automatically cancelled, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The tax authority has announced that an RTI206 letter will be issued to an employer whose scheme is due to be shutdown, following an automated review of Revenue records.

HMRC believes the new approach to shut down inactive schemes will allow officials to identify at a much earlier point that no returns are due – removing the obligation to make real-time submissions and subsequent tax returns and payments.

HMRC will consider a PAYE scheme as ‘inactive’, and therefore not needed if no Real Time information has been submitted for a period of time.

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