Mark SayManaging EditorWednesday 31 January 2018

ONS to use HMRC Real Time Information data

Organisation plans to integrate data from PAYE taxation into labour market statistics

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) is making plans to use real time tax information from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in its labour market measures.

It follows the publication of Real Time Information (RTI) data and marks a significant step for the use of the system beyond HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) into other areas of government.

David FreemanDavid Freeman (pictured), head of labour market for ONS, says in an organisational blogpost that it aims to integrate administrative data including RTI into the production of labour statistics over the next couple of years.

“This will help us to produce faster, better and much more detailed estimates of changes in employment and earnings,” he says.

“This release today gives us a first indication of some of the challenges we’ll face using administrative data to meet existing user needs. It also shows the huge potential of using such a data set in the production of our statistics.”

He says the initial release has shown differences between the RTI aggregates and the ONS data, and that the two organisations are looking into the reasons for this; but also that they show similar trends.

RTI provides for the real time filing by employers of PAYE info on employees and feeds into the calculations on universal credit by the DWP.

In December HMRC published a Post Implementation Review that indicated RTI had produced a strong return on investment since it was introduced in 2013, and predicted it would provide further savings in payments under universal credit.

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0