RTI is only Real Time at the employers' end so no option to receive advance funding for NI refund to employer

There is no mechanism for application to HMRC for advance funding to enable an employer to finance NI refund due, unlike for tax refunds and statutory payment refunds. Why can there not be a 'structured email' request mechanism for this?
The situation is month 12 refund due relating to employee's NI for directors. The alternative method for directors' NI has been used. Earlier in the tax year salaries were paid but, due to a hiatus in the company's work levels, no salaries were paid in months 11 and 12 and there are not likely to be PAYE/NI liabilities available for offset early in 2016/2017 either.
HMRC say that only after 5th April can a refund be applied for because the RTI information for month 12, which has already been submitted, is on hold, effectively spooled until after 5th of month. Even then HMRC say the application is best made by telephoning the Employers Helpline; it seems to be only tax which is being made digital.

Real Time Information is only Real Time at the employers' end (the HMRC officer I was speaking to took the words out of my mouth). Employers are penalised for not submitting on time, but the data is not used by HMRC until after the end of the tax month. There should not be this disparity so HMRC should adopt Real Time themselves too (or cut the rest of us the same amount of slack they have built into the system for themselves).
  • Couldn't agree more.  When RTI was introduced it was suggested that HMRC would be able to deal with repaying overpaid tax and NI to employers more quickly but that does not seem to be the case at all and as far I have been able to ascertain this aspect is a long way down the priorities list.  
    As you say, Real Time Information is only Real Time at the employers' end.  
    I fear things won't be much different at every stage of the Digital Strategy - all take and no give.