HMRC has announced that it is extending the temporary relaxation of new payroll reporting rules, from the present October 2013 deadline to April 2014. This will affect businesses with fewer than 50 employees, which pay employees weekly or more frequently, but only process their payroll monthly.

Employers affected and who find it difficult to report every payment to employees at the time of payment, may send information to HMRC by the date of their regular payroll run but no later than the end of the tax month (5th).

Making the announcement, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke said: “This is the biggest reform of PAYE since its introduction nearly 70 years ago and we are bringing the system into the 21st century. The transition is going well, and the vast majority of employers are now reporting their PAYE information in real time, meaning that HMRC’s records are becoming more accurate and up-to-date. DWP is already using the new system to underpin its Universal Credit pilot, helping it to be more responsive to changes in claimants’ income levels. This is all good news, but we will continue to listen to and work with businesses to ensure that all employers are reporting in real time by April 2014.”

In the press release announcing this change, HMRC also confirmed that in excess of 1.4 million employer PAYE schemes are now using the RTI system, including 83 per cent of SMEs and 77 per cent of micro employers.

This announcement will provide some businesses with much needed breathing room to fully adjust to the requirements of RTI. HMRC is also considering whether there are any specific circumstances with on-or-before reporting that it needs to cater for in the longer term.