Issues with Employee Data Records
RTI relies on accurate employee data records. This gives is the ‘who’ part of the ‘who’, ‘when’, and ‘how much’ formula for RTI. How are you managing the challenge of keeping employee data accurate? Is HMRC accepting your data revisions?
It was suggested that HMRC in month one of RTI would accept employee records submitted by employers to populate HMRC’s new RTI systems. Presumably on the basis that employer data was likely to be more accurate than HMRC’s own. (This would explain the absence of data conflicts making submissions in month one, but PayeRti.org hasn’t been able to establish this.)
As anyone who has tried to synchronise their phone or mobile device contact data with a desktop application knows, data systems need to know where the ‘master’ data set sits. With employee data records, does HMRC or the Employer, hold the master data set and how will the accuracy of both sides’ data be maintained? How will synchronisation be achieved in the future with the passage of time? Doing it once is relatively straightforward, but it gets significantly harder as time goes on.
Employee data accuracy really matters. RTI underpins the introduction of Universal Credit from October 2013 and welfare reform. As reported in our news pages, issues with RTI employee data accuracy create the possibility that benefit credits and welfare will be withheld or denied based on data errors arising in the operation of RTI and incorrect PAYE records.
HMRC had 17.9m legacy open PAYE files with unresolved issues until October 2012 remaining from its old PAYE computer system. HMRC reports it had brought PAYE completely up to date by the end of March 2013.
RTI has to maintain the accuracy of employee record data to fulfil HMRC and Government’s aims.