'Complacent' HMRC needs a RTI plan B, say MPs

HMRC is being 'unduly complacent' in regard to the rolling out of the Real Time Information (RTI) system and has been ordered to come up with a 'credible' plan B, according to a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

With four months before the main roll out begins in April, PAC is alarmed that RTI has been down-graded from green to amber by the government quango, the Major Projects Authority, while the ICAEW has also voiced concerns over the greater burden it will pile onto small businesses - and therefore the increased workload HMRC will have to take on.

An additional concern of the committee is the extra number of individuals who will be required to register for self-assessment as a result of the changes to child benefit.

Consequently, PAC has told HMRC to provide it with details of plans to reduce that predicted burden for small business, as well as create 'credible contingency arrangements' by March next year - should the main RTI roll out between April and October 2013 'not go according to plan'.

The concerns expressed by the MPs come off the back of their questioning of HMRC chief executive Lin Homer a month ago, where she confidently asserted that 'there is no contingency plan' for the overhaul of PAYE, that - it is hoped - will be fully implemented across the employer spectrum by October 2013.

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