The ugly truth of PAYE technology

HM REVENUE & CUSTOMS claims it has listened to the concerns and revised the implementation timetable of new PAYE technology. But in my opinion, it’s not much of a revision and more half-a-job.

The taxman wants to create technology for businesses to submit real-time PAYE information on all employees. Eventually there will be no need for printed p60s or p45s – which to me is only a good thing.

However, software and banking representatives were crying out for an extension to a very tight deadline set by HMRC, which didn’t allow a full tax year to pilot the new system.

The taxman claims it has now revised the timetable so existing technology can be updated rather than phased out immediately as previously stated.

A computer-to-computer transmission service known as EDI (used by lots of UK companies) was due to be put down in October 2013. BACS, and the internet, were going to be the only methods of sending PAYE data to the taxman.

Now HMRC has extended EDI’s lifetime until at least 2014, if it is updated. But companies will have to move to BACS or the internet at a later date.

So to get this straight…

That’s sort of like saying to people you can either spend money giving your current car a spray job, and buy a new one in a year or so; or you can buy a new car now, which hasn’t been properly road-tested. Either way you’ll probably be out of pocket, and hoping you’ve made the right choice.

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