As Revenue pushes ahead with plans to modernise Ireland’s PAYE system early next year, a new survey from online accountancy software firm, Big Red Cloud, has found that confidence in the benefits of the changes to Ireland’s small business sector is wavering.
For the survey, 100 accountants nationwide were polled and 55% responded that their clients were ‘not prepared at all’.
Marc O’ Dwyer, CEO of Big Red Cloud, commented:
“While it appears that most are not yet ready for these changes, what’s even more concerning is that 60% of accountants believe that small businesses will, in the main, be disadvantaged by the changes.
"The rationale behind changing a system that was first implemented almost 60 years ago is easy to understand – the workplace is no longer the same place it was. Larger organisations will have to fall in line with the changes, but they will have the resources to do this. It’s the smaller businesses – often the lifeblood of communities the length and breadth of the country - that may struggle.
"And because Revenue is using this exercise as a means of stamping out non-compliance, which they report is at unacceptably high levels throughout the country, the belief is that they will not make any dispensation for businesses who don’t comply by the deadline.
Mr O’Dwyer continued:
“Many employers must now make the transition from giving all their payroll information to their accountant at the end of the year - to making electronic returns as employees are paid - which might be weekly. These SME’s may not be in a position to make these returns themselves, neither will they be happy to pay their accountant the additional fees required if they were to do it on their behalf.
"A huge part of the overhaul for both employers and employees alike, is the abolition of all forms as we currently know them – namely, the P45, P30, P35, P60. These are well known forms to a lot people and the fact that they will no longer be required will be a surprise to many. For example, employees looking for mortgages will no longer be able to get a P60 from their employer to prove their earnings in a previous tax year. Instead, they will be able to print a summary from their My Account portal on the Revenue website.
"Ultimately, it’s clear that SME’s need assistance and support on this issue. We would advise that all employers review their payroll procedures, and engage the help of expert advice in making sure that they are ready in advance of the go-live date for PAYE modernisation in January next year. “