Should HMRC’s PAYE Business Tax Dashboard operate in real time?

By Matthew Thompson | 18th February 2014 | 7 min read

HMRC has come under fire again in recent weeks, after a number of problems have been highlighted with its PAYE Tax Dashboard. These issues have led to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) to call for HMRC to make the dashboard update in real time, rather than only twice a month.

Last month HMRC published a “What’s New” message admitting that a change made to systems in November had led to the PAYE Business Tax Dashboard displaying an incorrect payment position for month 8. This change had been made on 21st November 2014, but had not been identified and fixed until 16th January 2013.

It was then revealed that HMRC was having further problems on the dashboard for PAYE months 9 and 10, meaning that for the third month in a row employers accessing the PAYE Business Tax Dashboard were seeing incorrect information.

The most recent complaint has been from the ICAEW, who are now questioning why the dashboard is not updated in real time.

In a comment made to Payroll World, chairman of the ICAEW tax faculty technical committee Paul Aplin said: “You would think in a real-time payroll system that the dashboard would be real time, but it isn’t. What happens is the employer supplies Real Time Information for HMRC and therefore DWP but the information the employer can see on their dashboard when they go online is only updated twice a month.

And one thing that needs to be done as a matter of urgency is to make that dashboard real time. If HMRC did it they would save themselves a hell of a lot of phone calls. It seems incredible that that was never really thought of.”

HMRC announced that they have heard the feedback, and while it will not be a straightforward process, they are looking into what steps they can take to solve this problem.

With HMRC putting such an emphasis on the importance of businesses reporting information in real time, do you think the PAYE Business Tax Dashboard should be updated to reflect this importance?

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