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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has today announced it will be seeking to extend the temporary relaxation of its Real Time Information reporting rules for businesses with less than 50 employees from October 2013 until April 2014.
The easing of real time reporting rules means that small firms will not be required to change their approach halfway through the tax year.
More than 1.4 million employer PAYE schemes are now reporting to HMRC in real time since the launch of the new tax reporting requirements back in April; exceeding expectations, according to Ruth Owen, director general for personal tax at HMRC.
"The roll-out continues to exceed our expectations. I am delighted that 83 per cent of SMEs and 77 per cent of the smallest businesses are already on board," she said.
"We will now write to the minority of employers who are not, to establish how we can help them meet the requirements of reporting in real time."
From April 2014, all employers will need to plan to report in real time, but HMRC is continuing to work with businesses over the coming months to identify whether there are any specific circumstances with on-or-before reporting that it will need to cater for in the longer term.
PAYE information reported in real time is already being used by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to calculate Universal Credit amounts paid to people in its pathfinder pilot in the North West of England, ensuring the amount of benefit accurately reflects their level of income.
David Gauke, exchequer secretary to the Treasury, welcomed the move to bring PAYE "into the 21st Century", confirming that HMRC’s records were "becoming more accurate and up-to-date".
"DWP is already using the new system to underpin its Universal Credit pilot, helping it to be more responsive to changes in claimants’ income levels," added Gauke.
"This is all good news, but we will continue to listen to and work with businesses to ensure that all employers are reporting in real time by April 2014."

Date published 12 Jun 2013 | Last updated 12 Jun 2013

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