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PAYE RTI News

Gateway shut for maintenance as RTI dawns

March 26, 2013

 

HMRC has announced that the Government Gateway will be closed for essential maintenance on the first morning of compulsory Real Time Information reporting for UK employers.

The planned closure means the Government will not be available from 6:00am on Thursday 4th April to 6:00am on Saturday 6th April 2013, the first day of the tax year when PAYE RTI reporting becomes law for all UK employers.

A number of other Government Gateway services are also affected and will be unavailable for use over this period.

Employers wishing to make their first RTI return or Full Payment Submission to HMRC cannot do so when the Government Gateway is unavailable. They will be required to wait until HMRC’s planned maintenance has been completed. HMRC’s implementation of RTI relies on the availability of the Government Gateway, HMRC’s preferred reporting channel for RTI, as it is the only reporting channel available to small and medium sized employers.

Although the volume of RTI reporting on the first day, a Saturday, is likely to be low, this scheduled outage raises the issue of how HMRC will respond in the event of unforeseen difficulties with the Government Gateway once employers have an obligation to report RTI weekly. HMRC's relaxation of the RTI ‘on or before’ reporting rule for businesses with 50 employees or fewer (announced in March) should result in lower initial traffic over the Government Gateway.

This temporary “easement” or concession for firms with less than 50 employees who pay their staff weekly allows them until October 2013 to report RTI only monthly. This has been a notable exception to HMRC's previous insistence on all employers reporting RTI 'on or before' the date of payment. This temporary relaxation of the 'on or before' reporting rule was announced just prior to the Budget.

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