HM Revenue and Customs is currently consulting on how best to implement its proposals to send PAYE information in 'real time' and how to balance compliance with penalities in a fair and efficient manner. (See; Views sought on RTI compliance and penalties - Shout99, June 2012)
This means that by October 2013, the vast majority of employers will be expected to file pay and tax details for their employees online when wages are paid – rather than at the end of the tax year.
Now the Mail on Sunday says that even enterprises with just one or two employees will have to buy expensive software and computer equipment so that they can feed pay details into a vast ‘real time’ earnings database being assembled by HMRC and should they fail to do so, the Revenue plans to levy escalating fines that could total more than £2,000 a year for the smallest firms, and even more for larger companies.
Phil McCabe, of the Forum of Private Business, said: "Given the Revenue’s long history of computer problems and website glitches, it beggars belief that businesses could be fined for not complying with the new online-only filing requirements, even if honest mistakes are made, in what can be a frustrating, time-consuming process. Fining firms is a backwards step, particularly at this difficult economic time."
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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2012