The Inland Revenue has at last recognised that those businesses which do their work for them should be paid.
What is more, doing the Revenue's work has so far proved relatively easy, according to the Birmingham office of accountants Haines Watts.
The firm, which specialises in advising owner managed businesses and smaller employers, is now urging more companies to next year complete their PAYE end of year returns online - and benefit from an incentive programme, which those using the new system from this year will result in a payment from the revenue to the tune of £825.
"There is no catch," said Henry Briggs, senior partner of Haines Watts.
"You can file electronically using your own software, the revenue's free online return and forms PAYE service or use payroll bureaux, such as that offered by Haines Watts.
"Any one of these methods will qualify for the incentive. Those who have used the PAYE system this year say it is relatively easy. The only provision is that the forms have to be filed on time and meet quality standards - with the right entries in the right boxes. In the majority of cases, online has gone smoothly." However, even if a business did not go online this year, they still stand to benefit next year when they will receive £250, with the payment reducing annually to £75 by 2008-2009.
By 2009-2010, e-filing will be obligatory for all employers.
"The tax-free payment becomes available after you successfully file your return online. The revenue will credit the company's payment record and this can be offset against future payments or it can be claimed back in order to receive a cheque," said Mr Briggs.
Haines Watts are also reminding companies that, in a separate initiative, annual returns to Companies Registration Office (formerly Companies House) can be filed online. And while the processing fee for a paper annual return was increased to £30 in February, the online fee remains at £15 as an incentive to file electronically.