April 2013 deadline potentially an unfeasible target for UK businesses

New research from NorthgateArinso, a leading HR services company, has found that nearly two in three [63.9%] companies believe that HM Revenues and Customs (“HMRC”) should phase in the Real Time Information (“RTI”) Act over a longer period. And just under a third of respondents [31.9%] said that they did not think that HMRC had provided enough consultation with related parties on the legislation.

Almost 70% [69.4%] of companies said they were concerned about RTI, with one in ten [9.7%] admitting to being extremely apprehensive. Specifically, over 60% [61.1%] said that they were worried about the new processes required, while 44.4% were anxious about incurring penalties for innocent mistakes and 29.2% were not convinced that the new RTI processes are sufficiently robust. More than a quarter [26.4%] said that they were apprehensive about understanding the legislation itself while 27.8% pointed out that the pace at which the legislation is being introduced is a concern.

NGA interviewed 72 senior decision makers from a cross-section of market sectors who will be responsible for the implementation of RTI within their business by April 2013.  Forty-four per cent were from large employers (1000+ employees) of which 21% were from very large employer (5000+ employees). The remaining organisations had fewer than 1000 employees.

Bill Thompson, Principal Business Consultant at NorthgateArinso, is participating in a select working party consulting with HMRC to work through issues surrounding RTI. He comments: 

“All of our British NGA customers will be impacted by RTI and it is vital that the right type of well-considered legislation is brought into place. We see the end objective that HMRC is trying to achieve through RTI, but we also believe that the mechanism to achieve it needs to be right for businesses.


“We anticipate that the short time frames and new processes required to administer RTI are going to be a real headache for businesses, as well as potentially costly.


“Under RTI, businesses will need to run monthly or weekly returns rather than one end of year return, which is an enormous change in process and potentially workload. Employers will no longer have time to correct any wrong inputs. And the legislation itself is somewhat ambiguous, which is also causing some confusion for companies.


“To get ready, employers need to get to grips with the new processes required, the potential changes in their payroll system and review their internal processes to ensure they can adapt to these changes.  Employers should find out when they are due to go live so they can fully prepare and avoid a chaotic transition”