COMPANIES employing more than 5,000 people will not have to join the real-time PAYE scheme when it is rolled out nationally in April next year, according to HM Revenue & Customs.
Under the plans, all companies are scheduled to be implementing RTI by October 2013, which will see employers updating their PAYE records as and when changes occur, in place of the current system, where records are updated at the end of the financial year.
The scheme is expected to incorporate 250,000 employers and 6m employees by April 2013.
The largest firms, however, are to arrange a "migration" date between April and October with the taxman.
HMRC expects the burden on employers to be reduced by £300m as a result of the system, with significant decreases in fraud and error.
In July, the All-Party Parliamentary commission raised concerns over the timetable and costs of the programme and questioned whether RTI could guarantee real-time data was sustainably accurate.
Exchequer secretary David Gauke, however, said the plans were "on time and on budget" and he "strongly disagreed" with the committee.
In a statement to employers, Jane Brothwood, HMRC's head of RTI communications, said: "Businesses of all sizes should start preparing for RTI now by talking to their payroll software provider or payroll service provider about how they are developing appropriate payroll software.
"Most employers will begin reporting PAYE in real time in April 2013, with all doing so by October 2013."
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