Sunday 15 April 2012

HMRC's Titanic Memorial

Today being the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking, it seems appropriate to highlight this well crafted comment made by a loyal reader yesterday about RTI (which topically makes an analogy of RTI hitting an iceberg):
"There are over 4 million employers in the UK. The RTI Pilot is running with just a handful. I gather even by October 2012 the number will have only been increased to a couple of thousand. This is still only about 0.05% of the total. The plans seem to suggest that over 99% of employers are going to be brought into the scheme from April-October 2013. This is a challenging timetable to put it mildly.

More worryingly the number of employee record being processed each year is going to balloon from about 25 million annual returns to in excess of 500 million weekly or monthly returns. This is going to put a great deal of pressure on HMRC already creaking IT systems. In particular the need for data to flow through the system on a relatively short cycle (ie weekly or monthly rather than annually) means that any failures in the application will lead to back logs of returns building up quite quickly. Once that happens the system may struggle ever to recover.

On the face of it RTI has potential disaster written all over it. However, this probably wont happen until after the pilot using a few carefully selected employers has been declared a success. Expect everyone involved to jump ship at that stage before it hits the iceberg and sinks with all hands
Call me a cynic, but I do not believe that RTI has a hope in hell of coming in on schedule, on budget or on specification.

Tax does have to be taxing.

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