Talking to your accountant about RTI: 15 essential questions to ask

by Jake Martin, Title Text

2 min read

As many of you will be aware, time is running out for your business to prepare for Real Time Information(RTI). From 6th April 2013, all UK employers will be legally required to report PAYE in real time.  This means that your PAYE data must be submitted online to HMRC each time a payment is made as part of the payroll process, rather than at the end of the year as it is now.

RTI explained

 

Major changes

RTI will mean significant changes for UK employers. Our very own compliance expert, Diana Flier, recently told the Independent:

“Though the intended outcomes for the change are to streamline and better organise payroll operations, this is still a major change to the operations of many companies.”

It’s important to ensure you understand the changes and what they mean for you so that you can make sure you’re adequately prepared.

There are lots of guides on HMRC’s site and we have some useful information on our website and here on the blog too.  Your accountant is also a brilliant resource to help you make this important transition. If you’re looking for an accountant to help you with RTI, you can find one here.

Asking questions such as those below will help you make sure you’re fully prepared by the 6th April deadline. Of course there will also also be some extra questions  which are specific to your business. Hopefully, this short guide will help you pinpoint those queries before you talk to your accountant.

Going to visit your accountant to talk about RTI? Download the questions to take with you. 

  1. How does RTI affect me as a business owner?
  1. Why is the government bringing in RTI?
  1. What suggestions do you have for me to help me manage my cashflow now that I will have to submit my employee’s payroll taxes with every payroll run?
  1. Can you help me collect the data needed, and get me through the initial payroll alignment process?
  1. Should I consider doing payroll myself?  If so, what payroll software is available to help me?
  1. What are the consequences if I choose to ignore these new rules? Will there be any penalties from HMRC for late payment or non-payment of RTI?
  1. If I pay an employee the same amount each week/month, do I still have to submit weekly/monthly RTI information?
  1. Our payroll is manual and not yet computerised; what do we need to do to comply with RTI?
  1. What happens if the office is closed for a time (such as the Christmas/New Year period) but payment still goes through? When must this be submitted to HMRC?
  1. How are directors on annual payroll dealt with?
  1. When does the RTI file have to be submitted?
  1. How will HMRC know if the data has been submitted correctly? And what happens if we make an honest mistake?
  1. Which things will not change under RTI?
  1. We have an expatriate on our payroll? How will that work under RTI?
  1. We have employees who live in other countries on our payroll. How does that work under RTI?

Going to visit your accountant to talk about RTI? Download the questions to take with you. 

If you can think of any more helpful questions for businesses owners to ask their accountant about RTI, please add them below in the comments section of this article.

QuickBooks Payroll is RTI-ready

We’ve been working with HMRC since April 2012 to ensure QuickBooks Payroll will work perfectly with the new Real Time Information scheme. Find out more.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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