Will micro-businesses be able to cope with RTI?

The Low Income Tax Reform Group says that HMRC does not understand the way Real Time Information will impact small businesses in the UK.

The Group says that although the Revenue has conducted some tests to assess the impact of RTI, those tests have not gone far enough.

300 businesses are currently trialling RTI and the system should go nationwide in October 2013. Under RTI, companies will notify HMRC of its payroll data every time it runs a payroll, even if the company is only paying one employee, and the LITRG thinks some small businesses might struggle to do this.

Robin Williamson, the technical director at the industry body, explained that the Revenue has produced an Impact Note in which it considers some of the problems that small and micro-businesses will be up against when the new system comes into force. However, this Note does not take into account those employers who either do not have, or cannot use, computers and the Internet.

He went on to call on the Revenue to make sure ‘care and support’ employers, who on the whole are either older or disabled, receive additional support to help them transition to RTI. This support should include clear communications and a free telephone helpline. Furthermore, HMRC must make clear what adjustments it will make if the Impact Note is going to comply with the 2010 Equality Act.

The government hopes that RTI will save the Exchequer £39 million in 2014/15.

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