Small companies facing looming payroll change

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SMALL firms have been warned that time is running out to be ready for a major change to the pay-as-your-earn (PAYE) system.

Real Time Information – known as RTI – will come into force on 6 April from when employers will have to send details to HMRC every time they pay a member of staff.

A poll carried out by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) showed 18 per cent of firms were not prepared for the change.

The FPB’s head of policy Alex Jackman said it was still not too late to act.

“We know it can seem a daunting prospect to small firms, but it’s just not an option to do nothing. Better to act now than have a phone call from an unhappy tax man after 6 April, and that could happen.”

The FPB said any business which had not taken action to prepare should at least ensure they have the information to hand on employee addresses, date of birth and the correct 
National Insurance (NI) number.

“If any business is unsure to the number’s authenticity, they need to submit an NI validation check with HMRC,” said Jackman.

The FPB also said small businesses which pay staff weekly or more frequently should be aware of a concession announced last week by HMRC which means they will be able to submit payroll details monthly rather than in “real time” until October although they will still need to update software.