Until the introduction of RTI, HMRC processed P14 NIC data annually for some 30m employees and millions more P14s for pensioners' tax (and those who changed jobs during the year would have two or more P14s) between May and December each year. A significant proportion of the paper submissions used to give problems, with the result that they were initially rejected by the computer. The main problem was missing or invalid NI numbers on returns, although poor handwriting on manual returns was also a factor.

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