Last chance saloon time’ for small firms as RTI looms, warns FPB

April 4, 2013

Small firms are being urged to ‘act now’ ahead of the implementation of the new Real Time Information (RTI) regime, which will start to take effect from 6 April.

Despite a last-minute temporary relaxation of the RTI reporting rules for smaller employers, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) is warning that firms that are not prepared for the changes may run into trouble with HMRC.

Heralded as the biggest shake-up of the PAYE tax system since its introduction in the 1940s, RTI requires all employers to report to HMRC deductions they have made for PAYE, NICs and student loans when or before each payment is made, rather than at the end of the year.

In a study carried out by the FPB just days before the introduction of the new PAYE regime, 18% of firms still classified themselves as not prepared. Meanwhile, 60% said they were ready, with the remaining 21% claiming that RTI was not relevant to them i.e. they employed no staff.

‘It’s quite clear that there are businesses out there still not ready even at this late stage. The message we would like to get out there now, even at this point, is that it’s still not too late to get on board for RTI – the ship has not sailed,’ said the group’s Head of Policy, Alex Jackman.

‘We know it can seem a daunting prospect to small firms, but it’s just not an option to do nothing. Better to act now than have a phone call from an unhappy tax man after 6 April, and that could happen.’

RTI is being phased in from April 2013, although until 5 October 2013, employers with fewer than 50 employees who pay their staff weekly or more regularly and find it difficult to report at the time of payment may now send information by the date of their regular payroll, but no later than the end of the tax month.

The scheme will be mandatory for all employers from October 2013.

For more information and advice on RTI, please contact us.


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