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HM Revenue & Customs has rolled out a new service, designed to support employers who have experienced problems with data quality in the past. Targeted Employer Support will be introduced to 1000 employers who have previously had difficulties with quality of data, in a move which will ease the introduction of the new Real Time Information system.

When RTI is rolled out to employers, the quality of data provided is crucial as errors can affect the quality of taxpayer records. Currently, employers send information to HMRC each year with details of pay and tax of each taxpayer. Under RTI, employers will submit details of pay, tax and any other deductions either at the time they are made, or before. The system will be pivotal in the provision of data to the Department for Work and Pensions, which will support universal credits to be introduced from 2013.

The acting director general for Personal Tax, Stephen Banyard confirmed that a pilot of the scheme showed that support provided on a face to face basis was effective. He said:

“Every year, employers send PAYE data to HMRC. While most is accurate, mistakes can be made. This can cause problems for employees such as wrong amounts being deducted from their pay. It can also use up valuable employer and HMRC time and money putting the error right.”

HMRC intends to provide improved guidance and communication for employers, which will be in addition to the Targeted Employer Support. Stephen Banyard stated that HMRC were working hard to ensure data quality is improved before the introduction of Real Time Information.

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