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‘Worrying number’ of small firms still ‘unaware’ of RTI changes


A ‘worrying number’ of small businesses are unprepared for the impending Real Time Information (RTI) system, despite an overall increase in firms’ awareness of the changes, new research suggests.


According to the Forum of Private Business’s (FPB) latest quarterly Referendum, the majority of firms questioned now understand the implications of RTI.


However, the lobby group found that a significant proportion of employers are still in the dark over the reforms.


‘Real Time Information is looming and while our research suggests there is a growing understanding of what this means for businesses, there are a significant number still ignorant and unaware,’ commented the FPB’s Chief Executive, Phil Orford.


Furthermore, some 65% of respondents said they lacked confidence in HMRC’s ability to cope with the changes.


The Forum’s research also saw many firms question the benefits of RTI. Just under half of respondents did not see any benefits, while one in five felt the scheme would deter them from taking on new employees.


Mr Orford continued: ‘The positive news though has to be that compared to earlier studies carried out just a few months ago, more than two thirds of small businesses now know what's expected of them.’


The new RTI regime comes into effect in April 2013, and will require employers to submit information to HMRC about the payments and deductions they have made under PAYE, at or before the time of payment. It will be mandatory for all employers from October 2013.

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