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RTI: it’s here!

Apr 18, 2013, 04:38 AM
Authors : Linda Pullan
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Post date : Apr 18, 2013, 04:38 AM

On Saturday 6 April, at 6am, HMRC’s systems opened for business as promised, and some employers wasted no time in being among the first to submit their real-time information data for 2013/14.

Some employers and agents went into work on the day to file their first full-payment submission (FPS), while others filed the information remotely or automatically in batches on a pretimed basis.

HMRC are pleased to report: so far so good. But this is early days. The system appears to be holding out well, but the real test will come in the next few months as more employers join the scheme and volumetrics are tested to the full.

There have been some RTI rejections, mainly been due to accounts office collection reference numbers being omitted from the submission. Most employers could probably recite their PAYE reference number from memory; the collection reference number is more of a challenge.

Reports began to appear that employers who have not joined RTI yet have been experiencing problems filing P45s and P46s online for starters and leavers. The Revenue explained that P45s or P46s filed online will be rejected when an employer was mandated to join RTI from April 2013 but failed to do so.

Once an employer joins RTI, there is no further requirement to submit P45s and P46s because the information will form part of the FPS.

There have been further complications with starters and leavers. Some employers have found they have been unable to file P45s and P46s for employees joining or leaving at the end of the previous tax year. This is because the taxman’s system was closed for the last few days of the year for annual maintenance and did not open again until the start of 2013/14.

Employers who encountered difficulties should follow the special procedures on the Revenue webpage that was updated on 6 April to reflect further changes to the new starter process under RTI. It was the fourth change, and followed taxpayer feedback.

It is heartening that HMRC listened to users’ comments, but the new starter process has become more complex and, because of the late notification, most payroll software will not reflect the latest change.

Linda Pullan is head of Payroll Alliance; tel: 020 8662 2050

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