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RTI rules eased for SMEs

The shifting of the PAYE system to Real Time Information (RTI) is well underway, with nearly 1.4 million employers now reporting their employee PAYE information to HMRC before, or on, the date that payments are made. This translates to 83 per cent of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

However, SMEs have been granted some leniency by HMRC as they make the switch to RTI. Employers with fewer than 50 employees were told in March that PAYE information could be sent to HMRC by the date of their regular payroll run – provided it is no later than the fifth of the month.

This relaxation particularly benefits businesses that pay their staff on a weekly basis, allowing them to report PAYE once a month rather than on every payday, and giving them extra time to adjust to the new requirements.

This temporary relaxation of RTI reporting rules – originally due to end on 5 October 2013 – has now been extended until April 2014. The extended deadline will avoid any confusion that may have been caused by changing reporting systems midway through the tax year.

Commenting on the first month of the new RTI system, HMRC’s director-general for personal tax, Ruth Owen, said:

“The roll-out continues to exceed our expectations. I am delighted that 83 per cent of SMEs and 77 per cent of the smallest businesses are already on board. We will now write to the minority of employers who are not, to establish how we can help them meet the requirements of reporting in real time.”