New 'real time' tax relaxation could help farmers

A new 'real time tax' reporting relaxation aimed at micro employers will help many farm businesses struggling to report on, or before, paying employees.

Laptop computer on hay bale

Farm businesses are often micro employers (nine or fewer employees), except when they engage additional workers during their harvest. A new RTI relaxation aimed at micro employers could help them, as the number of employees is measured on 6 April, when few harvest workers will be engaged.

Many farm businesses currently rely on an RTI reporting relaxation for smaller employers (those with up to 49 employees). This allows them to report when they run their payroll (for example monthly) even though they may pay their employees more frequently.

This relaxation was introduced to allow smaller employers more time to get used to RTI reporting, particularly where they have difficulty in reporting on or before the time of payment. However, it is due to come to an end on 5 April 2014.

Following discussions with employer representatives including the NFU, and an HMRC survey which asked employers how they were coping with RTI reporting, the government decided to introduce a further relaxation for micro employers. This allows them to continue to report all payments by the last payment date in the month until April 2016.

To be entitled to use this new relaxation, you must be an existing employer and have nine or fewer employees on 6 April 2014 for the 2014/15 tax year and on 6 April 2015 for the 2015/16 tax year.

This new relaxation will help many farm businesses still struggling to cope with the frequency and cost of RTI reporting. Further details can be found here.

  • Posted by: M E & R A SadlerPosted on: 09/04/2014 18:59:11

    Comment: I wondered if members were reporting problems with RTI reporting. I have had problems since being on the trial in 2012 so my PAYE return is incorrect for the tax year ending 2013. This was due to an HMRC system failure. 2014 has brought further problems with two (out of three) of my employees submissions being made twice in period 9. PAYE Helpline cannot explain how or why this happened and it has gone to a 'referral team'. Are we the only ones having problems?
    Helen Sadler