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Taxman urges employers to prepare for real-time PAYE

WITH JUST A MONTH LEFT before its nationwide roll-out, HM Revenue & Customs today urged employers to ensure they are prepared to switch over to real-time payroll reporting.

The scheme, which comes in from April, will see PAYE reported on or before the date payment is made, while changes to a person’s circumstances will be made straight away rather than at the end of the financial year. It is hoped that the new way of reporting will be is quicker, easier and more accurate.

Real-time reporting has been piloted since April 2012, with more than four million individuals now reporting their pay through the scheme.

There have been ongoing concerns over how some businesses might implement the system, with ICAEW representatives in November informing MPs the requirement to report pay “on or before” the date payment is made is “at best, unrealistic and at worst, impossible”, adding “the proposed rules do not take account of the real world”.

However, HMRC has produced a ‘getting started checklist‘ for businesses to follow and has also marked real-time’s approach with the release of testimonies from businesses in the pilot and a re-issue of a British Pathé public information film on the introduction of PAYE in 1944.

Richard Burchell, owner of Burchell & Associates in South Croydon, a chiropodist with five PAYE employees already using the new RTI system, said: “We’re part of the pilot and we’ve been using it since June last year [June 2012]. We’ve had absolutely no trouble at all, but it’s important to have good software and support for that software.

HMRC’s director-general of personal tax Ruth Owen said: “Employers can find all the information they need about the new system on HMRC’s website and small businesses can download free software to help them get ready. So whatever the size of your business, wherever you are based, whatever you do – if you employ people, it’s time to get ready.”

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