Each time staff are paid, employers must send data to HMRC in the form of Real Time Information (RTI). The design of RTI has a few quirks. In this post, I’ll explain a snag known as the duplicate employments problem.
When Real Time Information was first introduced, we were told it would save businesses hundreds of millions of pounds, make tax more accurate, reduce tax credits over-payments, enable dynamic adjustment of Universal Credits, move the planets into alignment and bring about world peace. Okay, maybe not the last two.
With such ambitious aims and a very short timescale for implementation, nobody should be surprised that the result wasn’t perfect.
New customers switch their payrolls to our system at all times of the year but there is always a peak at the start of a new tax year. This is because payroll works one tax year at a time, accumulating information as the tax year goes on and then resetting it for the start of the next.
When someone starts their first job, they normally don’t have a P45 with their tax code on it. The new employer needs another way to decide which tax code and student loan deductions to apply. HMRC publishes a form for this purpose, but using it can trigger as many questions as answers.