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Are you ready? The clock is ticking...

Employers have just weeks left to prepare themselves for one of the most radical changes to payroll systems in decades...

Chris Dorricott, payroll manager at Dyke Yaxley Chartered Accountants, in Shrewsbury, said Real Time Information (RTI) was due to come into force in April.

"It's a new payroll reporting method for anyone who operates a PAYE scheme.  These employers will now be required to report each time an employee gets paid, rather than completing an annual year-end return.

"HM Revenue and Customs have introduced the scheme to improve the operation of PAYE, and by October  this year it will be mandatory for all employers to process their data using the new system."

Chris said the Pay as you Earn (PAYE) system was launched in 1944, and RTI is the single biggest change ever seen.

"It's vital that employers make sure their payroll administrator, software providers and accountant have everything in place so that they are ready for the changes taking place.

"Don't leave everything right up until the very last minute, as a system change this radical takes time to prepare for - and it's even more important to start preparing as soon as possible if you run your own payroll system independently.

"If you're not sure how the changes will affect your business, take expert advice to ensure you're complying with all the new guidelines.

"Our payroll team handles payroll systems for a wide range of businesses across Shropshire and beyond who employ from one to 500 staff, and we can help you adjust your payroll routine to fit the changing rules."

Under the new RTI scheme, employers will need to submit information including details of earnings and the tax and NIC deducted whenever a payment is made to an emloyee.

The rules will also affect pension providers, and all the information will have to be submitted electronically to meet the new criteria.

For help with RTI preparations in the short time that's left before the deadline, Chris said his team could be contacted on 01743 241281.

Dyke Yaxley's Chris Dorricott