What is a P38A?

I’m in the process of submitting my P35, but I’ve got a bit stuck on one of the questions on the form. What is a P38A?  

1st May 2012

The P38A is a supplementary return that must be submitted to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) if you have answered ‘No’ to question 1 of the P35 form, which is ‘Have you sent a form P14 End of Year Summary or completed and retained a form P38(S) Student employees for every person in your paid employment,either on a casual basis or otherwise, during the tax year shown on the front of this form?’

The P38A is commonly required where you’ve used casual staff during the year, and have paid them cash and not operated PAYE for them. It ensures that HMRC captures the details of everyone that has worked for you; whether they were ‘on the books’ or not- a ‘catch-all’.

If you have paid a worker and they are not ‘on the books’, there are three different reporting requirements depending on the circumstances:

  1. If you have paid someone less the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) which was £102 per week for 2011/12 and you have a P46 from them on which they've ticked box A, just complete the front of the P38A
  2. If you have paid them more than the LEL for any period, complete Section A on the P38A
  3. If you have paid them more than the LEL in total for the whole of the tax year, complete Section B on the P38A

Your local TaxAssist Accountant would be happy to assist you with the completion of your P35 and the other forms required for submission/ distribution.

By Jo Nockels

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