Wednesday, 23 January 2013

RTI Worries - one serious, one not

In the RTI "news" recently have been two issues - the number of "hashes" that don't match, and HMRC sending outrageous demands for underpaid tax to employers in the RTI pilot.

Without revisiting all the comment I've read on this (hand there's been plenty on Linkedin), I offer my personal opinion for what it's worth:

The hashing issues - the hash was supposed to ensure that HMRC could match the source of the payment to its destination.  It was a nice theory but flawed for a number of reasons.  The best thing would be to forget it - but that may not happen.  I assume no-one will want to admit it doesn't really work, and there may be a future for it if anyone resurrects the idea of HMRC doing our deductions.

The Demands for payment - this is serious for two reasons - it shows that HMRC don't seem to be "joined-up" in the sense of wondering how an Organisation (in one example) could suddenly owe an extra £60k in tax despite having paid over everything their (respected in the Industry) software told them to.  They seem to have simply picked up the phone to ask for the £60k
The second reason is that there's apparently a bit of a mess up in the way HMRC deals with people who have more than one job with the same employer - it isn't totally clear yet what this issue is, but it looks serious, given the numbers of people who do this.

Interesting times for a payroll systems geek like me.