HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has warned employers that the success of the introduction of real-time information (RTI) for submitting payroll details will hinge on the quality of information they supply.
According to the department, 80 per cent of problems during the pilot has been caused by bad information, such as incorrect names, dates of birth or National Insurance numbers.
Now in its third stage, the pilot currently encompasses the records of some 1.5 million individuals from more than 15,000 payroll schemes and HMRC says that it is generally going well.
However, the quality of data submitted by employers still is not accurate enough, so the department is working with them and software developers to identify ways in which the quality of the data can be improved.
HMRC has suggested that employers should emphasise the importance of collecting accurate information to payroll and HR staff and should review the way in which data is collected from new staff. It is also essential to have the payroll data guidance translated into the languages of all their workers.
One way in which employers could improve their data collection and input would be to sign up for HMRC employer email alerts, so that they are always up-to-date with what the department is doing.
For example, the latest RTI update from HMRC includes a number of ‘top tips’ for employers in the pilot. These include ensuring that their payroll or BACs software is RTI-compliant.
All employers will have to report PAYE matters in real time from April 2013, except for schemes with more than 5,000 employments; the largest employers and pension providers will have staggered start dates between June and August 2013.
As an accountant, Simon Denton specialises in providing PAYE advice, support and guidance.