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HMRC's real-time PAYE project over-budget, not resilient and may miss deadline

Derek du Preez | July 4, 2013
The National Audit Office has launched a report which raises a number of serious questions.

Furthermore, RTI went live without full financial accreditation, which is a requirement to show that systems introduced are acceptable for accounting and financial control purposes, because of issues that were identified during the pilot.

These issues do not impact an employer's ability to submit data to HMRC using RTI but do result in weaknesses in HMRC's ability to produce and report financial information about PAYE. It is hoped that any problems are ironed out prior to October 2013 when the roll-out commences and financial accreditation is granted.

Also, surprisingly, the report outlines how HMRC has chosen to not develop RTI with full resiliency because of the cost implications and because the PAYE service could be operated in an emergency without RTI. HMRC claims that the RTI service "could be recovered if there is a significant processing disruption".

However, the NAO states that although data submissions can be held temporarily in queue, this would not be sufficient to provide continuity of service in the event of a catastrophic failure. Also, a failure in the RTI service at a critical processing time could also increase the amount of customer communication with HMRC and lead to more effort on behalf of employers.

A phased approach is now being adopted to get the remaining 1.9 million employer schemes into RTI by the October 2013 deadline.


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