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Did you hear the one about The Tax Man

Did you hear the one about The Tax Man, the Publican and the Accountant?

Authored by Phil Meekin

Phil Meekin

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Approximate read time: 4 minutes

Accountant, publicans and all business people including you, will start to provide information “online” to the taxman.

Well, there sounds like there’s a joke in there somewhere but it’s not funny really. It was an article I recently read about the licensed industry in particular. But if you are an employer it will affect you soon as well.

We’ve all heard the omni-shambles about the “Child Benefit” debacle from the government, another little known change to life as an employer is RTI. You may have thought when starting your business, you would specialise in your particular forte. Whether you are a motor mechanic, plasterer, run a shop or operate as a manufacturer but from April this year, you’ll all have something in common

What will this strange phenomenon be that falls upon the entrepreneurs of England & Wales I hear you mumble? Well it’s not “red tape” from Brussels for a change although it might have well have been. RTI falls squarely on your shoulders – like a 10 ton weight from HMRC – straight from the corridors of Whitehall.

Yes. RTI is another bookkeeping exercise but modern bookkeeping. Real Time Information is an imposition from H M Revenue & Customs where late returns or demands for returns should become a thing of the past.

Accountants, publicans and all business people including you, will start to provide information “online” to the taxman. Will the accountants know what a FPS is or RTI. We all know what good old PAYE is. RTI is the electronic collection of taxes from employers. Unless you’re RTI ready, you should look at this as soon as possible.

I never said it was a joke but a lot may think the rollout of the new system is tantamount to a joke. Now you have to buy new software and operate the system to include the comprehensive information required by HMRC so they can keep “tabs” on your debt and know sooner which businesses are running up tax debt. HMRC Collectors see this as futuristic whereas “Mr Average Businessman” will see the change as another imposition on small businesspeople and SME’s.

Of course, this will affect the firm I work for; Wilson Field Ltd but fortunately our wages are prepared by accountants who will carry out the function albeit at cost. Something else that bites into profit another disbursement on the bills! Undoubtedly, this will have a major impact on HMRC’s collection of taxes and will put many businesses out of business to die in the cold. No more time to wait for the submitting of returns. RTI is upon us. You are assisting in helping HMRC to have info sooner and that will mean the collector wants it too.

Our country like your business needs its revenue stream to be good and RTI will help them get their hands on it quicker. HMRC are urging businesses to prepare, today some copy was aimed at licensees.

Prepare for the PAYE shakeup they cried. I wonder how many more publicans will throw in the towel, shut their doors and place their company in liquidation. Decide the bank or brewery has them over a barrel and consider bankruptcy. RTI may be the final straw that knocked them off their camel or on the other hand, they may reconsider a restructure. Reconsider, change. Well change it should be for the better but alas I fear it will be for the worst. They may come to a turnaround experts like Wilson Field Ltd.

Their company may be kept alive by administration and restructure. If it’s a man and wife team they may use formal proceedings known as an Individual Voluntary Arrangement. What will be will be. We will be there to help. The thing I like at the end of the day is that myself and my colleagues and I, have understanding and empathy, have the ability to succeed and the insolvency experience to help all the poor souls who deal with more red tape that slows down business and ultimately recovery.

RTI – not what I expected. By the way, I’ve always been bad at jokes, but you didn’t really expect one – did you?

Author: Paul Rodgerson

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