Small businesses count the cost of RTI

Six months on from the launch of HMRC's real time information PAYE system (RTI), half of SMEs report difficulties with the new online service and a quarter have found the change frustrating, according to a poll by Top 30 accountancy firm HW Fisher & Company.

Nearly a third (31%) of small businesses surveyed said the reforms were needless, while close to a quarter (23%) described RTI as frustrating. Getting on for half (46%) said they had encountered hitches, or that they were still getting to grips with the move to RTI. A further 31% described the transition as difficult, while 15% said they were still learning.

In addition, 39% felt the RTI reforms had added a cost burden to their business, while 23% said adjusting to the new system had been time consuming. However, 31% of those polled said they had a positive view of RTI.

The majority (69%) of small businesses said they were managing RTI in-house, with the remainder having outsourced the work to a third party provider. Most (61%) said the cost of implementing RTI had been relatively modest, at under 5% of their wage bills. But for 15% of respondents, the cost of implementation was up to 10%, while 8% said the costs had risen to between 11% and 15% of their wage bill.

Toby Ryland, a partner at HW Fisher & Company, said: 'It's clear from our research that the move to RTI has caused many small businesses difficulties, during a time when they would have preferred to have been fully focused on the very tough trading environment faced by most firms.'

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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