From the 6 April 2010 HMRC introduced a new penalty regime applicable to PAYE, NIC, CIS and Student Loan Deductions.

Any amounts due which are not paid on time are liable to be penalised. A late payment penalty warning letter will be issued after the first late payment, however, subsequent breaches will attract penalties which increase in line with the number of late payments as follows:-

No. of times payments are late in tax year
Percentage Penalty
1 No penalty
2-4 1%
5-7 2%
8-10 3%
11 or more 4%

If you have no PAYE/NIC payments to make for a month or quarter; to avoid an unnecessary warning letter being issued, it is important to inform HMRC on or before your normal payment date that no payment is due.