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As the introduction of Real Time Information draws near, Straughans chartered accountants has raised a number of concerns. Although HM Revenue & Customs has presented the move as positive, the accountancy believes that problems could be caused for a number of UK SMEs.

Rather than submitting information of employee pay and tax at the end of each tax year, employers will be required to submit Real Time Information. The new system is being introduced to reduce the number of errors which are currently occurring following the introduction of the National Insurance and PAYE system two years ago. When employer information is submitted to HMRTC at the end of a tax year, it can take months and even years to rectify errors. The submission of information as it occurs will hopefully reduce the likelihood of errors.

However, former Inland Revenue tax inspector and partner at Starughans, Mike Fleming said:

“The sheer frequency with which the information must be sent through to the Revenue could prove hugely time-consuming and disruptive to business for employers. RTI may help to streamline HMRC’s systems, but it could wreak havoc for SMEs.”

Fleming further pointed out that it was highly likely that the new system would produce errors, as the National Insurance and PAYE system did in 2009. One employer taking part in the pilot for RTI said that a large number of SMEs don’t hire payroll staff which could result in the employers making errors. It was also suggested that the removal of an annual employer return, only to replace it with a larger number of forms to submit wouldn’t simplify matters for employers.

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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