A few weeks ago we alerted you to the fact that penalties for late filing of RTI submissions were due to start for the smallest employers from 6th October 2014… well, no sooner had the ink dried on my proverbial keyboard, then HMRC did an about-face. Yet another extension until the penalty regime starts – this time 6th March 2015!
Whilst some might see this as good news, it won’t actually affect the way that we operate with our payroll clients. We set up our procedures right from the start to ensure that we don’t miss a filing deadline. However, behind this delay is surely a recognition on the part of HMRC that they still do not have their own systems working sufficiently well to ensure that they could actually manage a regime of automatic penalties.
As far as we are concerned, RTI is working fine and this view is backed up from my dealings with other accounting professionals. However it appears that HMRC are still not sure of their own data quality which, had a torrent of unwarranted penalty notices been issued after 6th October, they just would not have had in place the internal resources to deal with all the letters of appeal. So perhaps after all it is good news that they have finally recognised the inadequacy of their own systems and saved us the intense frustration of having to deal with all the penalty notices issued in error!