New research released today from Crunch Accounting (run by One Poll) reveals that only 19% of small businesses are aware and prepared for the introduction of HMRC’s new RTI (real-time information) payroll system happening this April.

The Crunch survey also shows that 46% have no knowledge of RTI, whilst a further 35% admit they are only vaguely aware of the forthcoming legislation.

Steve Crouch, Financial Director at Crunch Accounting said: “These new stats clearly show that despite HMRC’s claims that their communications campaign for RTI is on track, there’s still not enough information from the government about this huge change to the payroll system.

“There’s still time to get organised, but small businesses should start planning now. Small and medium-sized businesses need to be fully RTI compliant by April 2013, so talk to your payroll provider if you’re unsure or if they haven’t yet informed you about changes,” added Crouch.

The introduction of RTI aims to improve the flow of National Insurance and tax information between HMRC and employers to keep records in real time. Payroll information including salary, income tax and National Insurance will need to be submitted monthly rather than annually, and will eventually replace P35s and P14s.

The new RTI scheme will be a requirement for large businesses later this year, but there will be eventual penalties starting in 2014 for all businesses that are not RTI compliant.

Crunch Accounting provides payroll support for its clients who need it – the company manages client company accounts from a team of expert in-house accountants with easy-to-use online accounting software. Crunch’s payroll service will be fully RTI compliant when the new RTI scheme starts on 6 April 2013.

*Research commissioned by Crunch Accounting and run by One Poll took place in December 2012 it was an online questionnaire of British small businesses.

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Published on: 2:26PM on 6th February 2013