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who has been working with HMRC closely for the past two years with an RTI pilot scheme, said: “Businesses should have everything they need ready to go including employee addresses, date of birth, and the correct NI number. The date of birth is more important now than previously, it has to be correct and the correct NI number is also crucial. If any business is unsure as to the number’s authenticity, they need to submit an NI validation check with HMRC, and they will come back to you.”


THE Forum of Private Business is urging small firms still not ready for the biggest change to the PAYE tax system since its introduction in the 1940s not to ignore the issue and act now. Real Time Information – known as RTI – came into force on 6th April, at which point all firms that employ staff, regardless of numbers, need to have new payroll software installed. While HMRC has promised an easy ride for firms that do make mistakes using the new system, and has even made a last minute temporary change allowing some concessions for certain small businesses that pay staff weekly, the Forum has said firms who have taken no steps at all to be ready for RTI could well find themselves in hot water with the Revenue. The Forum’s financial specialist, Rachel Andrews,

14 MAY/JUNE 2013 ISSUE 48 Small businesses which pay

staff weekly or more frequently, should also be aware of the concession announced by HMRC on RTI compliance, says the Forum. The change effectively means these businesses will be able to submit payroll details monthly rather than in ‘real time’ until October, although they will still need RTI specific payroll software to do this.

Ruth Owen, HMRC’s Director

General, Personal Tax, said: “RTI is the biggest change to PAYE in 70 years and we are under no illusions. We know that it will take time before every employer in the country is using RTI. We appreciate that some employers might be daunted by the change, but they don’t need to be. HMRC is on hand to offer help and support and we are taking a pragmatic approach, which includes no in-year late filing penalties for the first year.“ RTI will improve the operation

of PAYE for employers, HMRC and employees. It will also reduce administrative burdens for employers. A range of RTI software is available, including free software for micro businesses with nine or fewer employees. Guidance on reporting in real time and hints and tips on avoiding problems when employers start to report PAYE in real time can be found at n

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