The taxman’s complex new PAYE system, Real Time Information, has been in operation for almost a year and, as promised, HMRC will start dishing out financial penalties to those not meeting their obligations from the beginning of the 2014/15 tax year in April.

Today HMRC has announced some penalties will be staggered to allow businesses more time to comply with the RTI rules. From April 2014 all businesses will be charged interest on overdue in-year payments. From October 2014 those not filing RTI returns promptly will begin to incur late filing penalties, and from April 2015 those not making their payments on time will begin to receive fines as well as interest charges.

These changes represent the latest act of leniency from HMRC in the face of criticism of its aggressive RTI implementation schedule. The taxman said:

“RTI is a big change and HMRC and some employers are continuing to learn. Having listened to customer feedback, HMRC has decided to stagger the start of the new in-year late filing and payment penalties to give employers more time to adapt to reporting in real time.”

Director of personal tax, Ruth Owen, said:

“The introduction of RTI is going extremely well for the majority of employers but there are still some who need a bit of time to adapt fully to the changes. This additional time will give us the opportunity to ensure that improvements to our internal systems are working, to learn from them and to provide better customer support to employers who need more time to adapt.”