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RTI project ‘on track,’ according to HMRC

The new Real Time Information project from Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs is well on its way to becoming successfully implemented, ministers say – much to the chagrin of taxpayers everywhere.

RTI, which is a new initiative being rolled out by HMRC in order to increase accuracy and compliance with tax law by making it mandatory to submit tax information immediately over the internet. The PAYE pilot for RTI went live this past April in an attempt to ease the way for HMRC, pension providers, and employers to administer PAYE for contractors and freelancers, though many have already expressed consternation to their accountants about the extra layer of bother created by having to file PAYE immediately instead of once a year.

The new system was designed to reduce the employer burden as well as help minimise error and fraud when it comes to PAYE, says David Gauke, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. Calling the PAYE RTI pilot ‘a hugely useful tool,’ Mr Gauke added that the £115 million project will pay for itself over again for every year of its existence through increased tax revenue.

HMRC’s acting director for personal tax, Stephen Banyard, also commented on the RTI project, differentiating it from other, less successful governmental IT projects in the past by pointing out how the challenges to RTI’s implementation are being faced by an unprecedented collection of interdepartmental experts. HMRC’s agile approach to the challenges, and rigorous time management, have been strong contributors to keeping the project on schedule, Mr Banyard added.

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