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Small employers ‘could face problems’ implementing Real Time Information

A number of organisations have warned that small businesses could struggle to implement the new filing requirements under Real Time Information (RTI), due to poor internet access or a lack of technical knowledge.

Under the new system, employers will tell HMRC about tax, national insurance contributions and other deductions when or before they are made, rather than at the end of the tax year.

The system will be mandatory for all employers by October 2013.

However, the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has argued that older employers, people with disabilities or businesses with limited access to the appropriate resources will face additional burdens.

The charity warns that the impact note produced by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) fails to recognise those small employers who remain ‘digitally excluded’.

The Public Accounts Committee has echoed these concerns, highlighting the fact that some small businesses without electronic payroll systems and the self-employed do not currently submit monthly data to HMRC.

HMRC launched a pilot scheme last month, to allow time for testing new systems and processes and more businesses are expected the join the scheme in the coming months.