HMRC takes pressure off RTI launch

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HMRC is proceeding with Real Time Information (RTI) on a revised timetable set for April 2013 from the original April 2012 proposal.

HMRC has confirmed that there will be extensive consultation with employers, payroll professionals and payroll software providers, as well as voluntary pilots during 2012. The issue of the specification has also been moved forward to May this year.

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About Robert Lovell

Business and finance journalist


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    06th Apr 2011 11:49


     All well and good moving over to RTI, but the system needs to be more stable, and available than it is at present. Who in their right mind (apart from HMRC) would think of undertaking maintenance on their computer system at the very time that you have the greatest demand as has just happened.

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    06th Apr 2011 12:55

    Another year, and a longer pilot is great news

    This is very pleasing. It shows that HMRC is living up to its promise that it would listen to payroll software developers.

    It is particularly ironic that today the PAYE filing gateway for 3rd party software is STILL effectively down this afternoon. 7 hours after it was supposed to be back up again. Given that I hate the idea of using BACS, and I'm a real campaigner for doing RTI with Gateway messages that is something of an embarrassment.

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    06th Apr 2011 13:43


    I cannto agree more, the system certainly needs to be more stable and HMRC need to have adequate resources to deal with enquiries.

    A staff member took in excess of 2 hours on the telephone today with HMRC simply to agree a tax code for one employee on one client payroll.  Most of that time was on hold waiting for HMRc staff to become available to take the call.

    The loss of productivity to UK plc is staggering!



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    By 0098087
    06th Apr 2011 14:29


    No where i've read says whether it will be submitted once a month or once a week or what? Surely the same filing date as CIS would be the best way to go 

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    06th Apr 2011 14:32

    Every payment to every employee, at the point of making the paym

    The plan is that every payment to every employee would be filed, at the point of making the payment.

    That is one reason why HMRC is so eager to co-opt BACS/internet banking as the filing transport.

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    06th Apr 2011 14:43

    Be Very Scared

    Having spent the last week unable to use the HMRC On-Line services, I have still not been able to log on (14:00 6/4/2011)

    My PAYE year end timetable is in ruins and the clients I have on the HMRC's own payroll system (CD-ROM/Basic Tools) are unable to enter and process new employees now because the software won't allow this until the year-end routine is complete. Which can't happen because HMRC is down.

    I am still in the process of appealing, now to the Appeals Service because of a CD-ROM crash last year end resulting in a £500 fine for not getting a client's year end returns on time, even though I had. This is after threats of legal recovery and bailiffs after I had made my appeal and after a HMRC review which didn't respond to reasonable questions of fact.

    I am just a sole practioner with small business clients. But magnify my 'little' problems up nationally and the joke of a RTI implementation this side of the next millenium would be a joke, if it weren't so serious.

    Unless and until HMRC can get its current PAYE system running efficiently and accurately, it shouldn't even consider RTI.


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    By 0098087
    06th Apr 2011 14:57


    So if they are talking BACS transport does that mean everyone has to be paid by BACS? Pubs won't like that 

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    06th Apr 2011 15:43

    R T I

    The Good News, RTI will benefit from a more time to get the requirments correct.

    Bad news is that HMRC would still appear to be following the drive to use Bacs, regardless of the fact it may not be fit for purpose, not just in the technical aspects but becase some Payrolls don't use it and some Payrolls are not directly responsible for Bacs transmissions.

    If ONLY HMRC would seek to discover how Payroll works, rather than listening to siren voices .....

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    06th Apr 2011 16:18

    Fear how is is supposed to work?  Fills me with dread and wonder if I should give up and play more golf!


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    06th Apr 2011 16:57


     Absolutely spot on. Make one mistake and woe betide you and here is a £100 penalty for your troubles. HMRC make a foul up and nothing is said. Have you looked at Money laundering regs? If you love paperwork then this one is a cracker. 


    Like you I am a sole practitioner, but I am really an umpaid tax collector.

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    06th Apr 2011 22:39


    I have been trying to file on line since 9am this morning.  It is now 10.28pm and I still cannot get a response.  Perhaps someone should tell them the date - the first day of filing P35s.  Are they all asleep?  No wonder they are in such a mess.  If we miss an important date there is a fine - what happens to HMRC?  They should be answerable (firing line springs to mind). I think I have been blacked, every time I ring them, for whatever reason, they say that I have not passed the security checks.  Two can play at that game - I bash out a letter and remind them that Complaint letters are a waste of taxpayers money and that if they get it right the first time there would be no complaints.

    TheAncientOne (who does not suffer fools gladly and who has run out of patience).

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    07th Apr 2011 09:21


    The release of the info on 4 April confirms the timetable in the second consultation document rather than putting it back by a year - A recent example with the HMRC computer being down for three days for VAT return filing at the beginning of April ie around the period for online filing - The system is going to have be a lot more robust that it currently is and the schedule for RTII is far too tight and does not really allow for any hiccups

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    07th Apr 2011 10:48

    How will the pilot actually work?

    I'm pondering how the pilot will actually work.

    What incentive will there be for payroll software suppliers to be involved? Any supplier that is involved in the pilot will have to develop large amounts of complex software a year earlier than they would otherwise have to, (completely changing the MO of things like period-end and retrospective pay adjustments and error corrections). And they'll have to do that in tandem with maintaining their existing software, which is a horrible situation for a software supplier to be in.

    Then, when elements are redesigned as the initial HMRC design collides with reality the pilot developers are likely to have to rewrite everything that has changed.

    This is all very expensive stuff for software developers to get involved in and most would seek to avoid it if at all possible. Unless perhaps HMRC is considering financial incentives for developers to be on the pilot.... Any such incentive would have to be pretty substantial.

    Likewise any employer who gets involved is risking the payment of their staff going through untried new systems. Perhaps the first year should entirely involve government departments, local authorities, the NHS, quangos, parish councils, emergency services, and most importantly MPs and HMRC staff.

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    26th Apr 2012 11:15

    RTI and Directors Payrolls


    I’m sure this must be on someone’s radar, but can I just mention it anyhow.

    I deal with a number of PAYE schemes which only have one or two employees, all of which are directors of their company and earning up to the tax threshold.  They pay little or no PAYE on a monthly basis and being directors any NI doesn’t kick in until the last couple of months of the tax year.

    I register these with HMRC collector and paying annually. This means that we don’t have to pay a few pence every month – difficult to do anyhow as the internet banking system demands minimum amounts. So we do the P35 at the end of the year and pay the whole lot in one go.

    Obviously this system also means that we don’t have to process the payroll every month, just do the whole lot at the end of the year.   In fact these schemes do not even use payroll software. It’s not worth the expense or the fiddle.

    How can cases like this be excluded from the requirements of RTI???

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