From April 2013, the UK has experienced a major change in the way employers report PAYE to HMRC. Employers now report their payroll information to HMRC in real time, on or before every payday. This is akin to a P35 being submitted weekly, fortnightly or monthly by UK employers .
Having such up to date information means that HMRC can issue accurate and timely instructions to employers thereby ensuring that an employee’s tax position at any time is correct i.e. there are less under or overpayments of tax. It will also help ensure the success of the new universal credit system whereby six working-age benefits will be merged into one.
There has been a number of teething problems with the new system, which is only to be expected given the scale of the change but various actions taken by HMRC prior to the live date have ensured that the transition has gone relatively smoothly. These actions included a pilot program, consultations with employer groups, consultations with software companies, various workshops and an overall general helpfulness on the part of the relevant HMRC staff.
It is understood that the Irish Revenue is a very interested spectator!