The deadline is looming for UK employers to get their 2011/12 annual returns to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Employer Annual Returns, which provide information on employees’ tax and national insurance deductions during the tax year, must be sent online to HMRC by 19 May.

HMRC is writing this week to all employers who haven’t sent their return, to remind them to file on time and that, if they file their return late, they will be charged a penalty of £100 per 50 employees for each month, or part month, that the return is outstanding.

Employers who are not registered for online filing need to sign up, as a matter of urgency, for HMRC’s PAYE Online service. The registration process only takes a few minutes, but employers won’t be able file online until they have activated the service using a code that HMRC sends in the post. This can take up to a week to arrive – so employers are being urged not to leave registration until the last minute.

To help you get the return right first time, HMRC has published a list of common errors to avoid on its website.