The change applies to businesses employing less than 50 members of staff. Basically, HMRC have decided to delay the implementation of penalties for late filing of real-time PAYE returns until 6th March next year for businesses of this size…. Continue Reading
Have you taken on casual workers this summer? Perhaps you are paying piece-rates for the amount of produce picked or packed by each person. Reporting such small and variable payments under the new RTI system is a significant hassle.
The RTI rules require you to report each payment to workers on or before the date of the payment. Fortunately you may be able to use one of these two concessions to ease your RTI reporting burden:
a) Where you pay your casual workers daily or more than once a week, but the amounts paid are less than £109 per person per week, you can send RTI reports to HMRC weekly; or
b) Where the total number of your employees, including casual workers, is less than 50, you can send your RTI reports to HMRC on a monthly basis.
Concession b) will only apply for payments made before 6 April 2014.
Your casual workers are likely to have no set working hours for each week. In effect they will be on a zero-hours contract; paid for the hours they work, but otherwise not at all. In such cases you should choose option D of hours worked on the FPS report under RTI.
The Government wants employers to report data on the hours worked by employees in order to prevent fraud in the Tax Credits system. Under Universal Credit the hours worked will not be relevant to the employee’s claim, so in time when all claimants are moved from Tax Credits to Universal Credit, the requirement to report hours worked should be dropped.
The temporary relaxation of the RTI reporting requirements for small employers has been extended to 5 April 2014. It was due to apply only until 5 October 2013.
Under RTI you are supposed to send a full payment submission (FPS) report to HMRC every time you pay employees, on or before the date of payment. This could mean sending a FPS every week, or even every day if you pay some casuals daily.
The relaxation applies to employers with fewer than 50 employees who pay staff weekly, or more frequently, but who run their payroll once a month. These employers can submit their full payment submission (FPS) at the time of the payroll run. However, the FPS must reach HMRC by the end of the tax month (5th).
The Taxman’s own figures show that one in six payments under RTI has been reported using the current relaxation. In spite of this strong evidence that the reporting relaxation is needed, HMRC has insisted that all employers will be required to make RTI reports on or before each payment day from 6 April 2014.
If you have still not sent any reports under RTI, you will shortly receive a letter from HMRC and possibly an estimated tax demand.
Under real time information (RTI) PAYE reporting, a Full Payment Submission (FPS) report is required to be made to HMRC every time an employee is paid, not just once after the end of the tax year as is currently the case. RTI will be compulsory for most employers from the first pay date following 6 April 2013.
Many one-person companies may wish to pay the director just once a year and avoid monthly RTI reporting. If you want to do this, you must first check that your payroll software will cope with an annual payroll, as many main-stream payroll software packages do not.
The second stage is to understand what reports HMRC will require under RTI. An annual payroll must be registered with HMRC. The current advice on the HMRC website says: “If all payments on which tax and NICs are due are paid to your employees annually in a single tax month, you can ask HMRC to be treated as an ‘annual payer’. You must use the same month every year, so if this changes or you start paying your employees more frequently, you will need to tell HMRC.”
There should be more guidance on the HMRC website about annual payrolls soon. If you do not register the payroll as being annual you will need to submit an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) to HMRC every month, which shows nil payments made to the employee.
If you are an employer you should have received information from the Taxman about operating PAYE under Real Time Information (RTI).
Employers with fewer than 5001 employees will have to operate RTI from 6 April 2013, and that includes one-man companies. Some employers have already started to use RTI under the pilot program. Individuals who employ carers in their own home may be able to defer migrating to RTI until April 2014.
You need to check whether your payroll software will be RTI-ready from April 2013. Don’t assume it will be. Some software providers have decided to discontinue legacy packages and force you to move to more expensive offerings. Even HMRC is cutting back on the free payroll software it provides. The HMRC PAYE Basic Tools will work under RTI, but only for up to nine employees, and it does not handle net pay arrangements for employer pension contributions.
If you use an external provider to run your payroll, you should talk to them about how much it will cost to run your payroll from April 2013. RTI requires more data to be submitted to the Tax Office than currently required (see below). Also the RTI reports must be sent on or before the day on which employees are paid, which could be daily or weekly. Currently the Taxman requires an annual report of what has been paid and deducted under PAYE.
The ‘on or before’ requirement has been relaxed in limited circumstances where employees are paid in cash on the day they work, and the amount of payment cannot be known in advance. This may apply to bar staff and crop-pickers. However, the RTI report must still be made within seven days of the day of payment, or when the next payroll is run, whichever comes next.
As the purpose of RTI is to provide accurate information to the DWP on claimants’ earnings, employers are also required to report the weekly hours worked by each employee, as they fall into the following bands:
A. Up to 15.99 hours
B. 16 to 29.99 hours
C. 30 hours or more
You don’t have to record the exact hours worked, only the normal hours the employee is expected to work.
RTI penalties will commence from April 2013. However, these are only penalties for inaccurate returns, not for late returns.
Penalties for inaccurate returns are not issued automatically and generally are only applied after a PAYE inspection (employer compliance check). However, as under RTI the employer will be making as least 12 reports a year (full payment submissions: FPS), the risk of inaccuracies creeping in must be greater than under the current once a year reporting system.
Penalties for late FPSs submitted within the tax year will be issued automatically, but not until after April 2014. However, the final FPS for the tax years 2012/13 and 2013/14 will be subject to a late return penalty if it is not received by 19 May following the tax year end.
A. Real Time Information (RTI) is a new way of submitting PAYE information to the tax office. All employers will have to use RTI by October 2013 (not this year), but some employers are starting to use RTI early in a test phase from April 2012. The aim is to add more employers to the RTI project at intervals, depending on how the first tests go. The tax office says your payroll software should cope with RTI when the time comes. We suggest you ask your software provider when their RTI update will be ready, and how much it will cost. We can help you prepare your payroll for RTI. This involves checking you have the full name, gender, date of birth and accurate NI number for every employee, including those who earn less than the NI threshold.