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'Real time' PAYE pilot goes live at HMRC

10 employers volunteer to take part in the trial

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HMRC has launched a pilot of Real Time Information (RTI) for PAYE.

Under RTI, employers and pension providers will notify HMRC about PAYE payments at the time they are made, rather than solely at the end of the year. RTI will eventually support the operation of universal credit, the government's welfare programme that brings together means-tested in and out of work benefits, tax credits and support for housing.

The tax authority is taking part in the trial, one of 10 employers to do so.

Stephen Banyard, acting director general for personal tax, said: "The pilot will allow us to iron out any wrinkles in a small, controlled environment so that we can ensure RTI is working smoothly as more and more employers join the pilot.

"We are working closely with employers and the payroll industry but having HMRC take part in the pilot will allow us to see first-hand how it is working from an employer's perspective."

A specialist team of RTI experts will be on hand to support employers through the pilot, which launched this week, according to HMRC.

A further 310 volunteer employers and pension providers will join the pilot during May and June, the tax authority said. Depending on its success, up to 1,300 additional employers will begin using RTI by September.

It is anticipated that most employers will join RTI from April 2013, and that all employers will be using the service by October 2013.

Last month Mark Holden, the RTI programme director at HMRC, told Guardian Government Computing that the big challenges for RTI were more likely to be around implementation, rather than the technology underpinning the programme.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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