The Taxman is asking all employers to spring-clean their payroll data to prepare for RTI. What does RTI stand for? It stands for Real Time Information, and within the next 18 months it will become as familiar to you as PAYE.
RTI is a new way of submitting payroll data to the Tax Office. Instead of sending the PAYE information in annually after the end of the tax year, all employers will have to submit the payroll data online on every occasion the payroll is run. This will allow the Taxman to understand who is being paid what amounts, and what PAYE is due, on a real-time basis. The details of employees' pay will be passed to the Department for Work & Pensions, to allow the amount of Universal Credits (which are replacing Tax Credits from October 2013) paid to workers to be adjusted on a monthly basis.
RTI will be compulsory for all employers and pension providers by October 2013.
Before payroll data can be accepted under the RTI system it must be 'clean'. That means having an accurate date of birth, full official name (not just initials or nick-name) and correct National Insurance number, for each and every employee. If the data for one of your employees does not agree to that on the Tax Office computer, the submission of the payroll data under RTI may fail, and you may get fined.
It will take some time to check the details of every employee on a large payroll, so it would be best to start this task as soon as possible.