The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is calling for an extension of the penalty free period for employers filing payroll under Real Time Information (RTI) reporting.

Not withstanding the Goverment's own statistics which suggest that some 20% of employers do not even have computers, the CIOT is also calling for the Government to extend the penalty free period for the last tranche of employers to join RTI (such as care and support employers), who will join the system in April 2014, so no penalties are imposed on them until April 2015.

Commenting, Colin Ben-Nathan, chair of the CIOT’s Employment Taxes committee, said:

“This is a substantial new responsibility and burden being placed on employers. The penalty regime must be proportionate and give time for employers to get used to the new and sometimes onerous obligations RTI imposes on them.

“It is welcome that the new late filing and late payment penalties will not be applied until April 2014. However, given this, it seems odd that the penalty for inaccuracies in RTI returns will be in place from summer 2013. Employers may take the view that it is best to delay filing if there is a risk they could be penalised for an inadvertent mistake.

“Additionally, for those employers who will not join RTI until April 2014, such as those employing carers, we would suggest that penalties should not apply until April 2015.”