The 2013/14 tax year is almost here, and with it, Real Time Information (RTI). From 6th April 2013, employers will report their payroll information to HMRC in real time, on or before every payday.
BrightPay 2013/14, with full RTI support, will be available soon. Over the past few months, we have been asked several questions about RTI, and how it will work in BrightPay. Below are some of the common questions and answers.
BrightPay 2013/14 will be released on Tuesday, 19th March, 2013.
On or after 6th April 2013. HMRC will not accept any RTI submissions sent before 6th April. This will not stop you from processing your payroll using BrightPay. If you process payroll before 6th April, BrightPay will prepare and save any required RTI submissions. From 6th April, you will be then able to send them.
Your first RTI submission will be due on or before your first payday in the 2013/14 tax year.
If you have 250 employees or more, your first submission must be an Employee Alignment Submission (EAS), which simply contains the details of all your employees, allowing HMRC to align their records with yours. BrightPay will detect if you have 250 or more employees, and guide you through submitting an EAS.
If you have less than 250 employees, you do not need to send an EAS (although you still can if you choose to). Instead, HMRC will align their records with yours when you send your first Full Payment Submission (FPS). An FPS is sent on or before each payday, and informs HMRC about the payments and deductions for each employee. BrightPay automatically prepares an FPS each time you finalise one or more payslips. If you did not send an EAS, BrightPay will include all the necessary alignment details in your first FPS, which includes a listing of all your employees, whether they were paid in the first pay period or not.
So, before you send your first RTI submission (be it an EAS or first FPS), it is very important that you first ensure all individuals in your employment are included in BrightPay. This includes temporary and casual workers, as well as employees paid below the LEL (Lower Earnings Limit) who, though they may have no deductions, now need to be accounted for through the payroll.
Each time you pay your employees, you will send a Full Payment Submission (FPS) to HMRC. BrightPay will prepare an FPS each time you finalise one or more payslips.
An FPS contains:
If no employees are paid on a particular payday, an FPS is not required. Instead, BrightPay will notify HMRC of this in your next Employer Payment Summary (EPS) submission (which is otherwise used to notify HMRC of reductions you are entitled to make to the totals already submitted on FPS submissions e.g. statutory parenting pay).
There are a few new pieces of information that were not previously included in P45, P46, P35 or P14 submissions:
You've just sent an FPS, only to realise that you forgot to include overtime! This, and other accidents which affect the amounts reported on an FPS, could happen to you, and will most certainly happen to many other employers.
HMRC are aware of this possibility, and are flexible in how you handle it. You can re-send the FPS with correct figures, or you can continue anyway, and in the next FPS the year to date figures will be reconciled. BrightPay will cater for either approach.
If, after 19th April 2014, you realise that the information on your final FPS was incorrect, BrightPay will let you submit an Earlier Year Update (EYU) submission to make the adjustments as required.
No. BrightPay will automatically include starter and leaver details in relevant FPS submissions. With RTI, HMRC will already have the details of an employee's previous employment, and so there is now much less information about an employee's previous employment that you need to record in BrightPay.
But there is an important change to the process of recording an employee's start or leave date in BrightPay. Before RTI, a P45 Part 3 or P46 could be sent to HMRC up to 30 days after the employee started. Similarly, a P45 could be sent up to 30 days after an employee left. It was common (and perfectly acceptable) that an employer would notify HMRC only after making a first or final payment. But with RTI, you need to ensure that the start/leave date is set before sending the first or final FPS. To help ensure that you do this, BrightPay now allows you to confirm starter/leaver details when finalising payslips.
You will, however, still be required to provide a P45 copy to your employee when they leave, for their own records. BrightPay will still allow you to print this (or export it to PDF) as before.
The P35 and P14 are no longer applicable. Your final FPS (and/or EPS) will contain the end of year declarations that were previously included on the P35, as well as the final payment figures for each employee that were previously included on P14 forms.
For the most part, it went well, and was a very worthwhile exercise. Lots of issues were ironed out on both sides, ensuring that RTI in 2013/14 is as smooth as possible for the rest of us!
One of the main lessons learnt by employers was that information for each employee (name, address, date of birth, NINO, gender) should be accurate and up to date from the very start of the tax year. If it's not, or if you change employee information mid-year, HMRC may not be able to align their records with yours, creating big headaches for you and your affected employee(s).
To help resolve this problem in 12/13, HMRC introduced a Payroll ID for each employee, which they suggested should be the employee's Works Number. But Works Numbers can change. And so some difficulties were faced when HMRC incorrectly inferred a change in Works Number to be a new employment. In 13/14, BrightPay, along with many other software providers, will leave the Works Number alone, and automatically assign a unique Payroll ID for each employment.
With RTI, payroll is changing, but our simple pricing model and free support is not. Rest assured that once you have purchased a 2013/14 BrightPay licence, that's it.
BrightPay received full recognition in 2012/13, and we are in the process of being tested for 2013/14 recognition. HMRC have advised us that there may be delays in processing applications for 2013/14 recognition. Keep an eye on our website for updates.
If you have any more questions, please call or email us. We are confident that RTI will be easy with BrightPay 13/14
Over the past few months, we have been keeping you up to date on RTI and how it will affect your operations as an employer. You may have already started to prepare for the change.
The RTI development for BrightPay 2013/14 is on track and going well. As the lead software architect for BrightPay, my top priorities are:
As well as RTI support in BrightPay 2013/14, we're also working on other improvements and new features (including some common customer requests - watch this space!). We're very happy with our progress so far and we will have more updates for you soon. We're really excited about bringing you a better BrightPay.
As always, please feel free to pick up the phone or email us with any queries regarding RTI, or anything else - we are always available for a quick response. Follow us on Twitter (@BrightPayUK) where we try to regularly post useful and helpful information. It might also be worth following HMRC on Twitter (@HMRCgovuk) for additional RTI updates or to take part in one of their popular Twitter Q&A sessions.
The future is Bright for payroll software.
BrightPay version 12.4 was released on 27th August 2012. We're really pleased to continue to improve BrightPay as the 2012/13 payroll year progresses. Thank you to all customers who have provided feedback so far. If you'd like to see a new feature in BrightPay, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Here are some of the new things to look out for in 12.4:
Some handy links, including the ability to print all payslips for a particular employee.
See which employees relate to which departments, pension schemes and holiday funds at any point in the payroll year.
Have you tried BrightPay yet? If not, download it today and start your fully featured 60-day free trial.