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No NI No & RTI

Prompted by the thread on P35 and missing birthdays, I am wondering how RTI will cope with employees who do not have and never will have a UK NI number because they are not resident in the UK and hence, have no liability to pay UK NIC.

We have a client which is an international haulage company employing a number of foreign drivers who ply the routes from the UK to France and beyond.  Some live in the UK, have acquired a NI number and we deduct NIC when running the payroll.  Others live abroad, have no accommodation in the UK (apart from the sleeper cab of their trucks) and are therefore not resident in the UK or liable to UK NIC, so they do not have a NI number, and we do not deduct any NIC when running the payroll.

RTI seems to be predicated on the existence of a NI number and HMRC appears to have no other reference to use for employees.  What is going to happen to this company's payroll under RTI?  Is the client going to have to get the non-resident drivers to register for a UK NI number and are we going to have to deduct UK NIC from them in future?


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18th May 2012 16:21

There may be a third option:

Require them to register for an NI Number but then continue NOT to account for NIC.  Just use the number for online filing purposes.


With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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19th May 2012 01:58

I don't think there is any "Sheesh" about it

Euan MacLennan has provided enough solid answers here, especially around the interpretation of the UK tax code with non-residents to be treated with a certain amount of respect.

The whole concept of RTI has been brought forward without any consideration for how it will work outside of large employers and especially the question marks over companies with unusual employment circumstances.

It's all very well saying, 'Just tell them to register for an NI number' but I strongly suspect that HMRC will fail to provide NI numbers for these unknown non-resident foreign nationals or if it does so, this will only happen after months of bureaucratic idiocy.

I don't know about you, but I already waste enough time on the phone dealing with HMRC created idiocies without having still more arise due to the poor implementation of RTI.

What is the likelihood of HMRC raising penalties / erroneous determinations / investigations for these 'NIL' returns? Close to certain I would have thought.

RTI is just another monolithic computer system that is being pushed through by HMRC without considering the unintended consequences on those who don't live identikit civil servant lives or jobs (typically Monday to Friday, 9-5) 

In relation to investments the line is "Past performance of an investment is no guide to its performance in the future.", however in terms of IT systems delivery this is a pretty good guide as to likely performance.

HMRC has been poor at IT systems delivery throughout its recent history and with the implementation of RTI I expect no change.

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18th May 2012 18:54

Purleeeaze ...

... check your sarcasm meter.

If you check my posting history you will find that I am a consistent critic of HMRC's reliance on NI numbers.

With kind regards

Clint Westwood

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By Hansa
18th May 2012 22:21

Is it even possible to get an NI no. if non-res?

The procedure for getting an NI number is not that easy ...

Various documents are requireda 1 to1 one interview is also required (by prior appointment).I'm pretty sure you have to give a UK addressYou need to prove your right to work in the UK

Not impossible (although the address given would by necessity need to be false), but certainly unreasonably complex for someone who neither wants nor needs one.

Although the old TN 00 00 00 M (or F) game has, I think, been stopped by banning "T" as a first letter, I'm sure that something similar (NR = for non-resident perhaps, followed by date of birth and "M" or "F") could be dreamt up ... what are they going to do about it?   Prosecute for inventing a number for someone who has absolutely no liability (or even right) to have one? It would be laughed out of Court I think.

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