Articles published on this website prior to October 2012 have been archived, and some information and links may be out of date. This follows the acquisition of Albany Software by Bottomline Technologies in September 2012.


June 2012 HMRC RTI Update - Pilot progressing well

Published on Monday, June 11, 2012

The HMRC RTI pilot is progressing well and is on track.

Although a number of early pilot customers have received hand-holding from the HMRC, it is apparent that although the process is fairly straight-forward, some upfront work by HR and Payroll Departments is required.

What's the latest on RTI?

  • Deadlines and Timelines

Most employers will be required to report payroll information in real time from April 2013, with only a minority of large companies allowed to extend beyond this, and penalties will be incurred from October 2013, when Universal Credit sets in.  Due to the success of the pilot to date, it is anticipated that HMRC may consider speeding up the roll-out.  It is safe to say that organisations need to be doing the necessary (cleansing data and updating their Bacs and payroll solutions) now, in order that they are making regular submissions by the end of March 2013 (only 9 months away). 

  • Channels

RTI data is currently submitted via the Government Gateway and Electronic Data Interchange, with the Bacs infrastructure remaining the long-term strategic solution.  For those submitting payroll payments via Bacs, this interim solution requires employers to include a cross reference (hash) in their RTI submissions and Bacs payment instructions, using the employer's own Service User Number (SUN).  Initially the EDI channel was expected to terminate in April 2014, but this has now been extended to at least 2016/7, as confirmed by HMRC:  http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/news/rti-update-may12.htm

How the RTI pilot is progressing…

The initial stage has already seen over 100 companies - ranging from small to large - successfully go live with the RTI pilot.

Albany Software was one of the pilot customers to go live, and is pleased to provide positive feedback on what was a quick, seamless and successful initial RTI submission.  Steps included upgrading the payroll and Bacs payment software, running an RTI missing data report to validate mandatory company and employee information and then making the initial RTI Employer Alignment Submission (EAS), which took less than 10 minutes. The next step (following the pay run at month end) included making the Full Payment Submission (FPS) and Employer Payment Summary (EPS).  We are delighted to report that all went well, although we had to seek advice from our payroll provider as the EPS file had to be backdated to April, showing all figures to date in the current tax year. Although these files require checking, we anticipate the process to run smoothly now that we have sent our initial submissions, and we expect that the process should take less than an hour each month.

In closing…

Clearly the key to making successful RTI submissions is ensuring that your data is clean, correct and valid and that you're running RTI compliant payroll and Bacs software. By doing this sooner rather than later you will not only avoid the last minute rush, but will be secure in the knowledge that your organisation is well placed to process successful RTI submissions within the legislated timelines.


Albany HMRC RTI Updates is an ongoing series about the new HMRC RTI initiative that is being implemented in the UK. As and when new information emerges, an update email will be mailed to those registered to receive them and a new blog posted on the Albany website.

You can view individual posts from the HMRC RTI Update Series or a consolidated view of all HMRC RTI related articles. Previous update posts are provided below:

May 2012 HMRC RTI Update - pilot kicks off
February 2012 HMRC RTI Update - 1 month to go
January 2012 HMRC RTI Update - Only 10 weeks to go...
December 2011 HMRC RTI Update - RTI advancing at a rate of knots
November 2011 HMRC RTI Update - Updated file format
October 2011 HMRC RTI Update - Gearing up for RTI
August 2011 HMRC RTI Update - RTI is gaining pace
July 2011 HMRC RTI Update - Cross reference and hash concept
June 2011 HMRC RTI Update - Moving the goal posts
May 2011 HMRC RTI Update - Technical specification
May 2011 HMRC RTI Update - Employer requirements
April 2011 HMRC RTI Update - Timescale adjustment