CIPP Survey: RTI Research from the OTS UK Tax Competitiveness Review

21 November 2014

Following the publication of the final report of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS ) Review of the competitiveness of the UK Tax Administration, the Policy team have put together a survey to gather your views and opinions as to your experiences so far with RTI.

October 2014 saw the publication of the final report of the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS ) Review of the competitiveness of the UK Tax Administration.

The OTS brief in this case was to research how improvements could be made to the UK’s tax administration and in this regard they looked closely at the outcome of the World Bank’s ‘Paying Taxes’ report which focuses on three indicators which are:

· Total tax contribution

· Time needed to comply

· Number of tax payments.

For full details see World taxes Report 2014

Whilst the initial remit was UK tax administration and the competitiveness of the UK tax administration, as you would imagine many issues were raised within the submissions from 60 groups along with speaking to 1500 people during the course of the review and as a result the OTS made many and varied key recommendations, amongst which are:

· Consider streamlining tax payments through a single tax account

· Extend short term business visitors rules and easements

· Build on the success of HMRC’s Customer Relationships Managers (CRM) and expand coverage as far as is financial viable

· Improve the assistance given to business particularly through greater use of digital communications channels

· Harmonise income tax and NICs and integrate as much as possible

· Review HMRC’s Real Time Information (RTI) process particularly around ‘on or before’

For full details see the OTS Review of the competitiveness of UK Tax administration.


OTS have concluded that RTI is clearly a huge and dominating issue: employers are expecting efficiencies to flow from all the work they have had to put into getting ready for and implementing the system. There are strong, regular pleas for continuation of the easements around ‘on or before’ to save administrative effort;

And have three stated recommendations for RTI:

· The OTS would like to see a post implementation review into RTI, looking at whether the ‘on or before’ reporting is actually necessary to operate the Universal Credit system, and to what extent monthly reporting could achieve this, with a view to making the current relaxation for smaller employers permanent, and extending to those employers in place at April 2014.

· Software developers had advised that HMRC staff frequently quote data protection as a reason for not being able to discuss a particular employer’s issues. The solution is for the employer to give their authority, and the OTS recommends that helpline staff and the HMRC guidance support this.

· The OTS recommends that an annual scheme may be set up by a structured email facility, with written notification by HMRC that this has been set up.


It will be interesting to see what the impact of RTI will be on the World Bank Survey of 2015, (as the report from the OTS began with the World Bank Survey of 2013 which looked at the 2012 tax year) and equally we look forward to HMRC carrying out an in-depth post implementation review of RTI, however until then we would very much like to gather your views, if you are willing to share them, on how RTI has impacted your day to day work, costs and relationships.

The Policy team have produced a survey to gather your views and experiences to date with RTI. The survey will remain open until Monday 22 December.

Thank you.