Payroll body finds views mixed views on tax real time information

First published in Business Daily

THE Solihull-based Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals (CIPP) has published the results of its research on the impact of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) easements in respect of real time information (RTI).

The research also investigated whether employers and payroll bureaux felt RTI would add additional burdens on business.

The survey asked participants to share their opinions on whether certain easements to the “on or before” requirement will have any positive impact on the perceived administrative burden RTI places on payroll professionals.

The research demonstrated different segments of the payroll community have very different opinions:

  • Three-quarters (73%) of employers already submitting information in real time (because they are part of the pilot) responded that the HMRC easements met their requirements and the same number said that RTI would not bring any additional burdens
  • Employers not yet submitting information in real time are also optimistic about the potential impact of the easements, with 62% believing the easement will either completely or, in the main, meet their requirements
  • Many employers, however, are understandably cautious about the burdens they expect RTI to bring, with 43% suggesting they will not be able to assess the burden until they are actually submitting in real time
  • Although expressing more reservations than employers, almost 94% of payroll bureaux or agents currently submitting information in real time agree the easements have met their requirements to some degree
  • In direct contrast with employers already part of the RTI pilot, however, 81% of payroll bureaux who are part of the pilot feel RTI will bring them additional burdens
  • Despite being less convinced about the benefit of the easements, 54% of payroll bureaux and agents not yet submitting information in real time felt that RTI would bring additional burdens, with 40% reserving judgement

Helen Hargreaves, senior policy ansd research officer at the CIPP, said: “The opinions and experiences of employers and payroll bureaux are clearly very different and this is reflected in the differing responses to this survey.

“Employers and payroll bureaux not yet submitting data in real time broadly agree to reserve judgement on the impact the easements will have and of those respondents already submitting data in real time, both employers and payroll bureaux agree that HMRC’s easements do meet their needs to varying degrees.

“However, the biggest disparity is the wider burden brought by the RTI obligations. Employers already responsible for submitting their own returns appear to have experienced far fewer burdens than payroll bureaux on the RTI pilot, for whom the easements bring little relief due to the pressure of obtaining additional and more frequent information from their clients.

“The CIPP will share this information with members of HMRC’s RTI project team, along with members of HMRC’s Administrative Burden’s Advisory Board. We recommend that HMRC considers these results carefully, as evaluation of the project progresses.”

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