The Immaturity of Real Time Information (RTI)

A massive decision has been taken at TTF Towers. We have agreed that Jabo (first born) is ready to be potty trained. I could approach this subject with some dignity and seriousness or I could be completely immature. I’m opting for the latter. So the plan is to get J to build a log cabin (he-he) somewhere other than his nappy.

For the last two and half years I have done my fair share of putting my hands (whilst stopping little hands doing the same) in the brown stuff. In fact I have developed a technique which involves pinning both hands down, clamping various items of changing equipment between my teeth whilst doing the necessary. I’m sure the police could learn a thing or two from my restraint holds considering both BJ and J’s talent for escapology on the changing mat.

The reason the decision to help free J’s chocolate hostages (he-he) was taken is that J can now strike up a conversation. Don’t get me wrong we are not debating the finer points of Japanese poetry (J would probably be more knowledgeable) but it’s enough to use the timeless words of poo-poo and wee-wee. Naturally all conversations are in the third person. A typical discussion goes along the lines of:

TTF “Does J want to use the potty?”

J “No.”

TTF “If J uses the potty he gets a biscuit.”

J No.

TTF “Daddy goes to the potty, big boys use the potty.”

J “No Potty”

TTF Yeeeeeeesssss

J Noooooooooooo

After J beats me with his debating skills I notice him going quite and an “aromatic” smell coming from his direction. Yes; he has launched a torpedo without a declaration of war (he-he). After going through another nappy changing routine and discovering a napalm dump (he-he), the process starts again.

The problem is that J does not seem to believe in advising me of his requirements before the task. He is quite happy to open the cargo doors (hehe) at his convenience. The break through will come when he decides to inform us that the bakery has baked its dough and is ready for dispatch (ok I will stop now).

From April next year PAYE Real Time Information will create similar problems for employers and HMRC.


Real Time Information (RTI) is to be made compulsory for most employers from 05 April 2013. It will effectively mean that employees’ information is communicated to HMRC at the time of each payment instead at the end of the tax year. This move is  to pave the way for universal tax credits system.

RTI Infographic

An employer will therefore need to submit his payroll electronically over the government gateway (the information will eventually  be transmitted via the BACS system). The employer will therefore need to ensure that they have adequate software and that their employee information is up to date. For those that have not prepared they should ensure that they attend to the following before 05 April 2013.

1. Register for PAYE Online

This can be done here

2. Update or Acquire Software or Use a Payroll Provider

Small employers will be able to use HMRC software.

3. Change your procedures & inform your staff

You need to put in place procedures where staff inform you of changes in their personal details so that the PAYE system can be updated.

4. Ensure Employees Data is Up to Date

Current data needs to be up to date and correct. Your system needs to be cleansed and should ensure the following is correct:

Name – Correctly spelt and formatted
Address – Correctly spelt and formated
Date of Birth – do not use generic date
National Insurance Number

5. Allign HMRC Data with Yours

Once ready your data should be alligned with HMRC’s to ensure everything reconciles and you are ready for RTI.

The above is important and should be implimented before 05 April 2013. HMRC has confirmed that although penalties will be issued for non compliance they will have a period of “soft landing” and will issue “dummy” penalties. I am sure however that they will take a dim view of anyone not trying to comply.

I have read that 25% of employers have not even heard of RTI so it will be intresting to see if the system is too immature to be released next year.  On the potty training front we have made a breakthrough. J is doing wee-wees in the bath and announcing it beforehand. I have not informed Mrs TTF who occasionally jumps in the same bath water after him (he-he-he-he-he)!


By Peter Cross

One Response to “The Immaturity of Real Time Information (RTI)”
  1. If you’re using the HMRC payroll software, you may want to look at our low cost solution for printing payslips at

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