Helpdesk: Advanced funding for SMP

Do you have a burning payroll question?

Q As a small employer we can claim under the Advanced Funding Scheme for help with our statutory payments for maternity pay. Having just taken over the payroll, I noticed that in one year a claim was made for funding but, due to some processing errors on the payroll, the amount was claimed in error. Judging by the amount of SMP paid, it looks like this has been going on for some time. What should we do?

A First, contact HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to disclose this. HMRC will always take a better view if you bring what sounds like a genuine error to its attention, rather than if it is discovered through an inspection. As a worst case scenario, HMRC can impose penalties of up to £3,000 for each offence.