Preparing for Real Time Information

by Administrator 20. January 2012 00:47

The Timetable for RTI

  • Pilot
    • April 2012 - initial 5 employers to test that HMRC systems are functioning
    • May 2012 - 300 more employers all carefully monitored
  • Pilot 2
    • July 2012 - 1,300 further employers to test that the guidance given by both HMRC and Software Developers is sufficient for mass migration
  • Go/No Go decision
  • Early Adopters
    • November 2012 – it is hoped that from this date to the end of the 2012-2013 tax year another 250,000 employers will be running RTI
  • April 2013 – mass migration of all employers other than
    • Exceptions – large employers who have not been able to change their business processes
  • Oct 2013 – mandatory for all employers

During the pilot only employers who have received an invitation from HMRC to participate in the pilot will be able to submit RTI files.

The HMRC migration team are still discussing the ‘on-boarding’ process for ‘Early Adopters’ and the mass migration of employers in 2013.

Preparing for Real Time Information

From April 2013 most employers will be mandated to submit Real Time Information ‘on or before’ the date that payment is made to their employees.

Over the last 11 months there have been many changes to the specified data requirements, but now there is a much clearer understanding of what data is required, and when, particularly when an employee starts a new employment, or leaves a current one.

There will be a number of QTAC users participating in the pilot that starts in April 2012, so that we can be confident that in April 2013 the QTAC payroll system will have been designed to allow our customers to provide HMRC with RTI information with minimal extra effort.

There are issues that employers will need to be aware of, and there may be changes required to some existing business processes, and I will be providing more detail after HMRC have published their employer guidance on RTI.

One thing all employers should be doing from today is ensuring that their employee data is ‘clean’. In particular the following 4 items are used by HMRC to identify an individual and should therefore be as correct as possible:-

  1. Employee names – ensure they are correctly spelled and full forenames are used if known rather than just initials
  2. NI numbers - if known these should be entered in the employee record. Do not enter anything if the employee’s NI number is not known
  3. Date of Birth – the employee’s official date of birth should be used. If the employee has not provided a date of birth do not make one up and do not use a default setting
  4. Gender – ensure you have recorded the correct employee gender. This is specified as being the employee’s current gender.

There is a dedicated area of the HMRC website where employers can see the latest documents released by HMRC.

If you pay your employees by ‘direct’ BACS, which means you have a BACS submission user number, and can receive BACS submission reports, then you need to check with your BACS software provider that they will be able to accept the revised BACS export format that we will be providing to comply with the RTI requirements.

HMRC’s message is:-

“We would like to remind you that correct and valid data is critical to the effective operation of PAYE, and has a wider impact on the service to employees. Could you please take all reasonable steps to ensure that all employee personal information, including the address and country identifier, is complete and correct and that the indicators used (for example, the deceased indicator) are always appropriate. When using the PAYE online service, please ensure that fields are not populated with null or invalid data, which will create system errors and unnecessary re-work of mismatched items. Because we share data with other parts of HMRC and with the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) employees can be adversely affected by erroneous data that cancels benefit entitlement or triggers some other action (for example, as a consequence of a mistaken belief that an employee has changed address).”

Notes for Payroll Software Developers (June 2010)