Thursday, 14 March 2013

Real time PAYE

HM Revenue and Customs have come up with another rod for the backs of small employers like me. We do, of course, calculate and operate PAYE, because we have to. But now they're changing it.

I got a letter dated 23 Feb, 2013 (but I didn't see it until 12 March) that tells me that from 6 April 2013 we have to report PAYE information in real time. So, every time we pay an employee, we have to, at the same time, report this to HMRC.

I doubt if our elected representatives know about this, and I doubt if they realise how awful it's going to be for a great many people.

I have to install new software (which, according to the HMRC web site) will not be available until 28 March. I then will have 9 days to install it, sort out any problems, and train myself and anyone else, in using it. Because I'm supposed to be using it from 6th April.

They claim that they have a linux version, but they say it runs under Ubuntu. Actually, I think it will also run under Fedora, which is what I use - I think that, because I tried it and it works. But it wants Flash, and won't believe me when I tell it I already have Flash, so I'm using the html version (I'm using the 2012 software, not that I can use it for real, but just so that I can get a feel for how it works).

It lets you install it to any directory you specify, which is nice, as I installed it on the network, which means that backups will happen, but then it keeps its data in a place that you can't specify, on my workstation, and I'll have to sort out something special for backups.

I think that this is going to be no big problem for me, but I can't help thinking about millions of small businesses that have just been kicked in the shins by this new red tape requirement from HMRC.

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