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Review of Payroll Services


The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, announced on the 18 June that businessman Patrick Carter is to review the market for payroll services to small enterprises in the UK and to report back by 30th September. The aim of the review is to identify ways of reducing the total cost to business and the economy of compliance with payroll obligations.

Mr Carter is now starting work and is keen to obtain the views and ideas of all interested parties. He invites them to respond by 23 July or earlier if possible.


1. The Review will work within existing policies for the structure of the tax system (under which employers deal with the tax and national insurance liabilities on an employee’s pay, and pay tax credits). It will focus on how payroll can be done more efficiently through better support and use of new technology.

2. The review will in particular examine the following issues:

  • The relationships between the internal information needs of business and the costs of complying with their obligations as employers.
  • What services are available to and used by small enterprises to meet their obligations for running payroll.
  • Whether services are evolving to reflect new technology and what more might be done to improve the quality, reduce the costs and increase the accessibility of the services available, particularly to very small firms.
  • Whether barriers exist to small firms using the most efficient means of performing the payroll task.
  • What the impact has been of existing Government interventions such as Business Support Teams and the help provided through the Small Business Service and whether the Government could do more to help businesses meet their obligations more efficiently.

3. Please send any views and ideas on the issues covered by this
review to:
Andrew Fraser
Inland Revenue,
Personal Tax,
Room 85,
2nd Floor,
Somerset House,

or e-mail at

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