Only one in five small businesses is aware and prepared for the introduction of a new HMRC payroll system that comes into force in six weeks’ time.
Research carried out by One Poll on behalf of Crunch Accounting shows that 19% of SMBs are in the dark about the RTI (real-time information) payroll system, set to be introduced by HMRC in April.
The survey suggests that 46% of companies have no knowledge of RTI, while a further 35% admit they are only vaguely aware of the forthcoming legislation.
The introduction of RTI aims to improve the flow of National Insurance and tax information between HMRC and employers to keep records in real time.
HMRC claims that its communications campaign for RTI is on track, but Steve Crouch, financial director at Crunch Accounting, said the facts suggest that there is still not enough information from the government about the change.
“There’s still time to get organised, but small businesses should start planning now,” he said. “Small and medium-sized businesses need to be fully RTI compliant by April 2013, so talk to your payroll provider if you’re unsure or if they haven’t yet informed you about changes.”
Under the new guidelines, payroll information including salary, income tax and National Insurance will need to be submitted monthly rather than annually, and will eventually replace P35s and P14s.
The new RTI scheme will be a requirement for large businesses later this year, but there will be eventual penalties starting in 2014 for all businesses that are not RTI compliant.