Gauke rejects postponement of RTI

THE EXCHEQUER SECRETARY David Gauke has rejected calls for a postponement of the introduction of real-time information after the All-Party Parliamentary Commission raised concerns about the timetable and costs of the programme.

The commission had been worried the investment costs and timescales were underestimated and expressed worries over whether RTI could guarantee real-time data was sustainably accurate.

Gauke, though, was keen to emphasise that the scheme was “on time and on budget” and “strongly disagreed” with the report while Mark Holden, HM Revenue & Customs’ RTI programme director, said there was “a number of misunderstandings” in the report and that it “can’t hold any credibility”.

RTI is set to supersede the current “1940s system” of paying employees currently in place and will see employers updating their PAYE records as and when changes occur, rather than at the end of every tax year.

The taxman expects the system will reduce the burden on employers by £300m and will lead to a significant decrease in fraud and error.

HMRC hopes to roll out RTI nationally from April 2013, with all employers taking part by October of the same year.

Currently, the pilot has 500 employers – equating to 1.7m employees – with the scheme set to grow to 250,000 employers and 6m employees by April 2013.

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