The business tax account (BTA) has the potential to be extremely useful online facility for employers, as it should enable the employer see what they have paid as PAYE, and what is owning, as well as any PAYE-related penalties or charges. The BTA isn’t generally open for the employer’s tax agent to view, although there is a pilot ongoing which allows tax agents to view their clients’ BTAs.
Unfortunately, the usefulness of the BTA has been undermined, as HMRC and the employer are presented with different versions the BTA containing different data. The mismatch occurs during batch processing of the RTI data, which creates discrepancies that should sort themselves out over time, but don’t always do that.
HMRC is revising the way the BTA is updated so that the data is grabbed directly from the RTI database by an application programme interface (API). However, this data transfer will only happen twice a month on 10th – which collects the PAYE liability due on wages paid in the month to 6th, and on 22nd – which includes payments and claims made on an EPS. Employers still need to check their BTA at least twice each month shortly after those dates. If following the update of figures on 22nd the employer’s records do not tally with the BTA, you or the employer, should ring the Employer’s Helpline to lodge a disputed charge.
The new version of the BTA is being rolled out to employers from this week to mid-September. When accessing the new style BTA the employer will see a black and white screen instead of the familiar green and white. The employer needs to click on “view breakdown” to see the detail of PAYE liabilities and payments.
Employer Bulletin issue 67 gives further details of improvements to be made to the BTA, including an annual statement and a monthly statement. If the BTA was fully open to tax agents, this would be a great leap forward.
If you would like to discuss any of these issues further do not hesitate to contact DFC Accountants in Cardiff.