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HMRC announces new stakeholder group

November 27, 2014


As part of their review of stakeholder engagement HMRC have launched the Employment and Payroll Group, which is to hold its first meeting on the 4th of December.  The group will be composed of payroll bureaux, employers and software developers as well as the bodies who represent them, and will be co-chaired by the Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals.  The EPG will engage with HMRC on operational matters relating to PAYE, including RTI and will also communicate with other government departments on these types of matters.  Three current stakeholder groupings will be replaced by the new Employment and Payroll Group: the Payroll Consultation Panel, the Expenses and Benefits Group and the Employment Consultation Forum.  The Taxpayer Data Standards Forum will continue to operate alongside the EPG.

In a press release from the department, Director General of Personal Tax Ruth Owen at HMRC said that “Engaging with the right stakeholders, at the right time, can be a huge benefit in making sure our processes are as customer-friendly as possible.”  Owen said that the EPG will “focus on high-level operational policy and process issues”, but in addition will “provide a forum through which members can raise and discuss issues or problems in administering payroll obligations or problems in relation to employment tax issues more generally.”

The Employment and Payroll Group will discuss changes in HMRC policy regarding employment taxes as well as consult on the details of how these changes will work in practice, for example reviewing the guidance issued to taxpayers before it is publicly distributed.  The Group will meet four times a year, and will receive updates from both HMRC and other government departments, with a “structured follow-up process” so that concerns raised can be referred to HMRC more speedily.

The press release went on to say “EPG came about as a result of a wide review of stakeholder engagement and is intended to be HMRC’s principal consultation forum”.  The creation of this new forum may suggest HMRC does not intend to engage further with the Joint Task Force which representatives of the payroll industry and professional accountancy bodies who were formerly members of HMRC’s own RTI CUG formed themselves on their own initiative following HMRC’s disbanding of its original RTI Customer User Group in July 2013.

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