Small businesses that are not yet ready for the introduction of the new Real Time Information (RTI) cannot afford to further delay their preparations, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has warned.
RTI, which will see employers reporting PAYE payments to staff in real time rather than at the end of the tax year, comes into force on Saturday 6 April.
However a recent study found that 18 per cent of small employers were still unprepared.
The FPB said that employers must make sure that their payroll information is up-to-date and accurate, in particular:
dates of birth
national insurance numbers.
Alex Jackman, the FPB’s head of policy, said: “It’s quite clear that there are businesses out there still not ready even at this late stage. The message we would like to get out there now, even at this point, is that it’s still not too late to get on board for RTI – the ship has not sailed.
“We know it can seem a daunting prospect to small firms, but it’s just not an option to do nothing. Better to act now than have a phone call from an unhappy tax man after April 6, and that could happen.”
HMRC recently announced that businesses with fewer than 50 employees, who pay their staff daily or weekly, will be able to submit their PAYE information on a monthly basis until 5 October while they adjust to the new system. It has also said that RTI late payment penalties will not begin until 2014.