Two-thirds of respondents think RTI phase-in for payroll should be delayed

Two-thirds (64%) of respondents believe that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) should phase in the real-time information (RTI) programme over a longer period of time, instead of seeking 100% compliance by April 2013, according to research by NorthgateArinso.

RTI will require payrolls to run reports for HMRC weekly or monthly instead of annually.

The research, which surveyed 72 senior decision-makers across a range of sectors, found that 32% of respondents said they did not think HMRC had provided enough consultation with related parties on the incoming legislation.

The research also found:

  • 69% of respondents said they were concerned about RTI, with 10% admitting to being extremely apprehensive.
  • 61% said they were worried about the new processes required.
  • 44% were anxious about incurring penalties for innocent mistakes.
  • 29% were not convinced that the RTI processes were sufficiently robust.
  • 26% said they were apprehensive about understanding the legislation itself.
  • 28% pointed out that the pace at which the legislation is being introduced is a concern.

Bill Thompson, principal business consultant at NorthgateArinso, said: “It is vital that the right type of well-considered legislation is brought into place.

“We see the end objective that HMRC is trying to achieve through RTI, but we also believe that the mechanism to achieve it needs to be right for employers.

“We anticipate that the short-time frames and new processes required to administer RTI are going to be a real headache for employers, as well as potentially costly.

“Under RTI, organisations will need to run monthly or weekly returns rather than one end-of-year return, which is an enormous change in process and workload. Employers will no longer have time to correct any wrong inputs.

“The legislation itself is somewhat ambiguous, which is also causing some confusion for organisations.

“To get ready, employers need to get to grips with the new processes required, the potential changes in their payroll system, and review their internal processes to ensure they can adapt to these changes.

“Employers should find out when they are due to go live so they can fully prepare and avoid a chaotic transition.”

Read also Preparing for the real-time information programme

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