HMRC announces new real-time information timetable

At the end of last week, HMRC finally published information to enable accounting software suppliers to start building new payroll technology. At the same time, it announced that companies will not be forced to file PAYE using new online technology.

This technical pack for software developers should have been received at the end of March but delays ensued while further discussions with HMRC and the banking and software industries took place.

HMRC requires technology to allow PAYE information to be submitted online in real-time. Volunteer employers will start testing the system next April and large organisations will adopt it in January 2013. All employers were expected to use the online system by October 2013.

However, after taking the matter up with the banks and software developers, the Revenue has said there will be another option for submitting real-time information. Until at least 2014, employers will be allowed to update EDI, an existing system which directly transfers data to another computer.

A lot of employers favour the BACS system for submitting their PAYE payroll information and technology is being developed to update the system to support online real-time information. A new timetable for this will be published at a later date.

Real time information reporting is the biggest change to the PAYE system since it was first introduced. Given HMRC’s track record over recent years, a lot of businesses will no doubt be relieved to hear that compulsory compliance has been delayed again.

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