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HMRC to change year-end PAYE system

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21st Nov 2011
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In a move that should help to reduce year-end penalties for employers, HM Revenue & Customs is to change its Pay As You Earn system to handle tax and other deductions on a monthly rather than annual basis.

HMRC's new 'Real Time Information' approach will mean that tax and deductions data is transmitted to it each time an employee is paid. This means that employers will no long be required to provide information using forms P35 and P14 after the year end or to send in the P45/46 document when employees start or leave employment. The phased introduction of RTI will begin in April 2012 with an initial pilot. HMRC hope to increase the number of employers joining RTI during fiscal year 2012/13 if the scheme is successful.  Accountancy firm James Cowper welcomed the move, saying that it would no longer unfairly punish employers with unknown systematic errors in their PAYE payment systems. Nick Butler, head of JC Payroll, the company's dedicated payroll bureau, said: "This is a sensible decision from HMRC and will be a relief to many business owners. Together with the notifications from HMRC that already exist when a late payment is made, businesses now have every opportunity to avoid substantial and unexpected year-end penalties."

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By kupcraft
22nd Nov 2011 12:32

Whilst employers do agree that the move to Real Time Information is the right way forward for PAYE it certainly doesn't mean less penalty opportunities, quite the reverse. HMRC have said that they will introduce a penalty for late submission of the FPS file (the payroll run file) and having an up to date picture of an employer's liabilities from that file will make it easier to levy the substantial penalties for in-year PAYE remittances that are not paid in full. Those of us working with HMRC on the detail of the implementation as I am can see many more opportunities for compliance failures. So this is a project that needs to engage HR, finance and payroll professionals to ensure that every process that touches on an individual's personal data as well as earnings is scrutinised to ensure that the new requirements can be met.

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