Deputy Editor Sift Media
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The PAYE merry-go-round continues

7th Oct 2010
Deputy Editor Sift Media
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Gina Dyer, editor, CFO21.comMy favourite quote of the week comes from HMRC’s Peter Hopkins: “For those who thought Yes Minister was a comedy programme – you’re wrong. It was a training film showing you how HMRC works!” Gina Dyer bids farewell to AccountingWEB with a final post from this week's IPP conference.

Regular visitors to AccountingWEB will probably have heard that I’m flying the nest to work on a new site being launched by our parent company Sift Media, but since I’m still sitting at the same desk and still working in the finance arena, it’s not goodbye but simply ‘aurevoir for now’.

In one of my last commitments as AccountingWEB deputy editor this week, I attended the seventh annual Institute of Payroll Professionals conference and Payroll and Pensions Excellence Awards (where I heard the excellent bon mot you see above).

The theme of the conference was ‘back to school’ and, as well as some brilliant St Trinian’s outfits worn by IPP members and staff (take a bow Diana Bruce and Karen Thomson!) there was a definite emphasis on continuing professional education and the need for finance staff to stay up to date with changes in the profession.

One of the changes we were all hoping to hear more about was the proposed amendments to the PAYE system. HMRC recently released a discussion document on the topic, which was met with demand for more detail by finance professionals.

Peter Hopkins was on hand to explain first hand HMRC’s rationale for their two stage approach to improving PAYE (although to be fair he mostly just repeated what we already know). For more detail on some of the proposed changes, see this excellent summary by Kate Upcraft, and Rebecca Benneyworth's submission to HMRC based on AccountingWEB members' comments.

HMRC received 400 responses to the discussion document and the next stage, Hopkins explained, will be a consultation document where they put forward more concrete proposals and fill in some of the detail so desperately desired by the accounting community. Beyond that, he wasn’t able to give us much information, telling the audience that until the Spending Review on 20 October, they didn’t know much more than we did.

The most interesting PAYE information of the day came from the delegates themselves, who were asked to vote on the proposals. All voted in favour of real time information, while the majority were united in their opposition to centralised deductions. Hopefully this was feedback the HMRC delegates took back with them.


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