SMEs lack confidence in tax authorities over RTI

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New research carried out by the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has revealed many small firms do not have confidence in the tax authorities being able to cope with the new Real Time Information (RTI) system, which is being introduced in two months' time.

RTI is a new payroll system being introduced by Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in April and will affect all business with paid employees.

The FPB said its latest quarterly Referendum study carried out amongst its members showed that the majority of firms now understood the implications of RTI, although a worrying number were still “in the dark”.

The Forum’s latest research conflicts with similar studies by other professional bodies which have shown much higher number of businesses unprepared or even aware of RTI.

FPB chief executive Phil Orford, said: “Real Time Information is looming and while our research suggests there is a growing understanding of what this means for businesses, there are a significant number still ignorant and unaware.

“The other important issue raised by our research is the huge lack of confidence small firms have in HMRC to cope with the changes – 65% of businesses expressing concern at this.

“If nothing else, this paints a depressing picture of small firms’ confidence in a government department that is key to their operations."

Those businesses involved with the RTI pilot run by HMRC last year were a little more confident here, Orford added, “but there are clearly still fears about how seamless the transition will prove to be.”