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RTI: be prepared

Mar 26, 2013, 05:30 AM
Authors : Linda Pullan
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Post date : Mar 26, 2013, 05:32 AM

All employers, unless they have been given a specific alternative date by HMRC, must join real-time information (RTI) for PAYE from the first pay day on or after 6am on 6 April.

If the pay day falls between 1 and 5 April, the employer will not need to join RTI until the next pay day. Ensure the correct version of the payroll software is used.

As a result of HMRC’s system annual closure (between 3 and 6 April), tax coding and other notices issued by the departmen may take longer than normal to come through to employers.

Employers can submit RTI data to the Revenue via the internet, electronic data interchange or, for those with nine or fewer employees, the PAYE basic tools. They should ensure they are registered for PAYE online and check that their government gateway credentials are valid. 

Those who pay by BACS may have to upgrade their software to include a hash total (field 7). Costs vary, so shop around. The hash total is only required for users with their own services user number. It is not required for non-PAYE income such as travel and subsistence, only for payments.

An advantage of RTI is that, once an employee’s details are entered on the full payment submission, the National Insurance number verification request service will trace the details and confirm the correct number to the employer online.

Preparation checklist:

  • Find out when the payroll software will be ready for RTI.
  • Are there any installation requirements?
  • Old payroll software may not support RTI.
  • Check employee data is accurate, particularly full formal name (correctly spelled), National Insurance number, date of birth and gender.
  • Data must be aligned with that of HMRC for RTI.
  • Employers with 250 or more on the payroll must align data before the first FPS (at least 30 minutes apart).
  • Where there are fewer than 250 on the payroll, alignment takes place with the first FPS.
  • An employer’s alignment submission and FPS cannot take place earlier than 6am on 6 April 2013.
  • Reconcile PAYE payments against the payroll if joining RTI after period 1 to ensure they are up to date.
  • All employees, casuals and students must be on the payroll under RTI even if they are paid below the lower earnings limit.
  • Agents and bureaux should review client charges and procedures. When will the FPS be submitted? The deadline is by midnight on pay day.

Linda Pullan is head of Payroll Alliance. She can be contacted by email and on 020 8662 2050

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