RTI - looking for feedback (AAT staff enquiry)

Hi all

I am trying to put a briefing document for MPs outling common issues / queries that small businesses are facing with RTI. Have you had any feedback or comments from clients? Would be great to hear your views.

Thanks in advance!
AAT PR Manager


  • sloshed
    sloshed Registered Posts: 100 ? ? ?
    Hi Nicky

    I am employed as a payroll manager for small - medium size of accountants and the major feedback I am receiving from small business clients is that RTI is does not take account of the small business which typically does not have a computer and they are now faced with additional cost and the majority are looking to avoid the requirement for RTI by reducing the hours off all employees so they are below the lower earnings limit and thus avoid the need for the PAYE scheme.

    Hope this helps with your briefing document

    BIG WAL Registered Posts: 133 ? ? ?
    Interesting comment. Am wondering how these businesses without a computer submit their year-end P35 and P14,
    given the need to file them online.

    We do payroll for several of our small business clients purely as a service to them. Most staff and directors are
    monthly paid, so RTI is no extra work. However, where there are weekly paid staff, we are supposed to submit
    FPS not later than date of payment, usually Fridays, but occasionally Saturdays. One even has 2 staff, each working one day a week, but on different midweek days. Not being a payroll bureau, all this does cause difficulty. Also we
    have one charity done free with a mix of weekly and monthly paid.

    Presently there's the temporary concession till 5th Oct to submit monthly, - but what happens after that if it's
    withdrawn. Whether we continue to provide the service or it's outsourced, it will inevitably become significantly more expensive to operate.
  • NickyB
    NickyB Staff Posts: 35 ? ? ?
    Thank you!

    Thank you for your comments - really helpful. If anyone has anything to add, please let me know.

    Many thanks
    Nicky Burke
    AAT PR Manager
  • JodieR
    JodieR Registered Posts: 1,002
    I agree with sloshed - I've had a client cut back her employee's hours to avoid filing weekly returns. There is a certain irony in the way that one of the major reasons given for implementing RTI was so that people receive the correct amount of benefits, and yet there's a large amount of low earners who's details will not be filed with HMRC; surely these people are more likely to be benefit claimants?

    I've also had a client who had to purchase extra memory for his computer to cope with the size of the software installed for RTI and another who runs his own payroll through sage and had all manner of issues getting the software to run as his computer is quite old. He spent 3 hours on the phone to sage one day trying to fix it and then again a few days later.

    The other issue I had was that I received a letter on the 18th March thanking me for volunteering for RTI (which I hadn't knowingly done!) and it turned out I couldn't submit a P35 as all my payroll was supposed to have been reported under RTI since October. Luckily when I eventually got through to someone at HMRC they amended their records so that I could just start RTI from 2013/14, but it's a hassle I could have done without!
  • jenny3549
    jenny3549 Registered Posts: 472
    Agree with JodieR regarding having to upgrade computer memory - the RTI packages are HUGE! My computer can just about cope with the additional space needed for the RTI version of Sage Payroll but one of my directors has a tiny other business which she has always used the HMRC Basic Tools for and has been told by the HMRC hotline (after being on hold for an hour) that she would need to upgrade for the RTI version - as you can imagine, she was not best pleased!

    There have been plenty of comments about the cost to small/micro businesses in terms of additional time but no acknowledgement of the costs of hardware/software upgrades.
  • jow774
    jow774 Registered Posts: 465 Dedicated contributor ? ? ?
    TBH ive been pleasantly suprised with RTI so far. I work for a small company, we do have a pc and do buy yearly payroll software but it is literally just one extra button to press and its done each week. I may be proved to be an idiot in a few weeks as I havent been doing it correctly or something but the software just came with an extra button and flagged any missing info before I started processing the new year. I get an email each week to say its gone and its done and suprisingly payroll takes just the same amount of time as always! Ive completed 3 weeks now, so far so good!

    On this occasion I cannot moan about HMRC but on nearly every other occasion its a different story, lol!
  • NickyB
    NickyB Staff Posts: 35 ? ? ?
    Thank you for all your comments - really very helpful. I wondered if people were finding it a common theme for small businesses to try and avoid RTI by keeping their staff under LEL?

    I also wondered if anyone had used the free software from HMRC? Does this require extra memory or is it an online tool? Any feedback?

    I really do appreciate all your help - as you can tell I'm not an accountant!

    Best wishes,
  • sloshed
    sloshed Registered Posts: 100 ? ? ?

    Just thought I would give a bit of clarification with the additional cost re my earlier post.

    One of my firms clients run a fish and chip shop currently has one employee above the lower earnings limit and about 5 staff paid below. Currently the P35 is done by us as accountants and will take about an hour to do and the client will be charged in the region of £75 - £100.

    We now have to contact the client each week, process the payroll and file the fps, consequently our fees to the client has risen to about £250-£300. The member of staff who is paid over the lel is leaving in the next 3 months so they will recruit a couple members of staff so they have nobody over the lel and consequently from next april they have no requirement for the paye scheme as it will reduce their costs.

    As other posts have said this rather goes against the main reason for RTI.

    Hope this helps:cool2:
  • Allan
    Allan Registered Posts: 25 Regular contributor ⭐ ? ⭐
    With regards to HMRC, our commercial software doesn't cater for Annual PAYE schemes, but their free softwarre deals with it perfectly (uses Month 12 tables).

    So that has came in pretty useful, even if the staff at HMRC are still having difficulty advising/acting on annual schemes.
  • jenny3549
    jenny3549 Registered Posts: 472
    NickyB wrote: »

    I also wondered if anyone had used the free software from HMRC? Does this require extra memory or is it an online tool? Any feedback?

    Hi Nicky,

    Just to clarify, my director uses the free software from HMRC - and it was their helpline that told her she needed additional memory to get the RTI version to work. She's a bit miffed since the reason she uses their software is because it was a small business with only a couple of employees so she didn't want the expense of a payroll package for it!
  • NickyB
    NickyB Staff Posts: 35 ? ? ?
    Hi all

    Just to say thank you so much for all your help with giving feedback. It really does help to hear how these processes work in practice.

    Very best wishes to you all - enjoy the sunshine!
    Nicky (AAT PR Manager)
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