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PAYE Real Time

Are you ready to report PAYE in real time?

pdf-iconFrom April 2013, employers must start sending PAYE information to HMRC in real time.

This means sending details to HMRC every time you pay an employee, at the time you pay them.

By providing this information in real time, HMRC will be able to tell you how much you should pay each month. This will make it easier for you to pay the right amount each time and help you to avoid making late payments and incurring penalties.

This checklist will help you to start sending your PAYE information to HMRC in real time.

Prepare your business by doing these things now, if you have not already.

Should have done
If you run your own payroll system, you need payroll software that is ready for RTI in order to send your PAYE information to HMRC online, every time you pay an employee. You can do this in three ways:
  1. Using commercial payroll software, upgrading your existing software if necessary (your provider can advise on this).
  2. Using a payroll service provider, such as an accountant or a payroll bureau, who will do it for you.
  3. If you employ nine or fewer people, you can use one of the free payroll software packages or HMRC’s free Basic PAYE Tool. Go to for more information.
If you are planning to send your returns yourself, you need to register for PAYE Online to get your PAYE login details (if you have not done so already).
If you use an agent, payroll bureau or payroll service provider, you must talk to them now about the service they will provide for you in future, and ask what you need to do to get ready for RTI.
If you pay by Bacs using your own Service User Number, you need to speak to your solution supplier or bureau.
You need to get prepared by making sure you hold accurate and up-to-date information about all your employees (name, date of birth, gender, address and valid National Insurance number).
Still time to do
You need to change some of the ways you report PAYE, including:
  • providing new information in your payroll records, such as hours worked
  • completing employee information for temporary and casual workers and employees paid below the National Insurance Lower Earnings Limit
  • letting HMRC know whenever you change a payroll ID – otherwise HMRC will treat the change as a new employment, which will result in duplicate employment and incorrect tax codes
  • how you tell HMRC about starters and leavers.
Ensure you or your payroll service provider uses RTI-ready payroll software to send your real time PAYE information because you won’t be able to use HMRC’s PAYE Online service (sometimes called the ‘portal’) for this.
You still need to send your end-of-year return (P14s and P35) for the year 2012-13 by 19 May 2013.
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