HMRC chief, Lin Homer has admitted in an interview with the BBC this week that the implementation of Real Time Information (RTI) for the reporting of PAYE, starting next month, is bound to have 'chewy moments'.
In a discussion on BBC Radio 4’s PM news programme, Homer insisted that most employers who had participated in the initial RTI pilot were "pretty chipper", and said it had been easier than expected.
However, the numbers that took part in the recent RTI pilot were far lower than HMRC previously anticipated, with only a tenth of the 250,000 employers that HMRC hoped would participate.
There is expected to be around 1.4 million employers that will be required to use RTI reporting of PAYE from 6th April, but Homer is confident the new system can benefit both parties.
Speaking to Radio 4, Homer said: "We’re all going to have a few chewy moments, and we’re determined to be as open and as listening as we can.
"I’m confident we’re going to learn a lot during the year, and that we will be able to make this system work."
Liesel Smith, from the Federation of Small Businesses, spoke out regarding RTI on the same radio programme, and believes the new system will take up more valuable resource from small business owners.
"It’s all very well saying it’s a simple click, but actually this is time and money that small businesses need to spend doing this," said Smith.
"We want to see employers submitting returns once a month, up to two weeks after the tax period, which would benefit companies that pay their staff weekly, or had a mix of payment times."
Meanwhile, Anita Monteith, tax faculty technical manager for SMEs at the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales, believes the burden of RTI could result in fewer full-time jobs being made available simply due to payroll management.
"For a small business, which is trying to grow and provide employment in a local environment, I think this burden is just too great," said Monteith.
"I think we’re going to see fewer full time jobs being advertised, and more small part-time jobs, simply to avoid having to run a payroll."
Under RTI, employers will be required to tell HMRC about gross pay, tax, National Insurance contributions when or before payments are made; instead of waiting until after the end of the tax year.
For all the information you need in preparation for 6 April, read our guide to Real Time Information today.
Image: Images_of_Money Flickr
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