PAYE/National Insurance payments and deadlines

This guide provides an overview of the deadlines for paying:

  • monthly, quarterly or annually PAYE (Pay As You Earn) including student loan deductions Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) payments and Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs)
  • annual payments of employers' Class 1A NICs
  • annual PAYE Settlement Agreements (PSA) payments

It also tells you about late payment interest and penalties charged by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for paying late and how to avoid these.

If you are looking for general guidance on PAYE and NICs, please see the section 'More useful links' at the end of this page.

HMRC recommends that you make all of your PAYE, NICs and PSA payments electronically.

On this page:

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Ways to pay PAYE/NICs

HMRC strongly recommends that you use an electronic payment method.

Paying electronically is fast, secure and convenient provided you use an accurate reference number - and it's mandatory for employers with 250 or more employees.

It's your responsibility to make sure payments are made on time, whichever payment method you use. You may be charged interest and a penalty if your payment isn't received by the deadline.

HMRC counts all of the payment methods listed below as electronic:

  • Direct Debit
  • Online debit or credit card using BillPay
  • Bacs Direct Credit
  • Faster Payments by online or telephone banking
  • CHAPS
  • GBS Transfer
  • Bank Giro
  • payment at the Post Office

You can find out more about these and other payment methods by reading the guide 'How to pay PAYE/Class 1 National Insurance/CIS'.

How to pay PAYE/Class 1 National Insurance/CIS

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PAYE and Class 1 NICs payment deadlines

Electronic payments

Payment is due by the 22nd of the month following the end of the tax month or quarter to which it relates and you should make sure you initiate your electronic payment early enough for cleared funds to reach HMRC by the due date.

Where the 22nd falls on a weekend or bank holiday, ensure your payment arrives no later than the last bank working day before the 22nd, unless paying by Faster Payment.

It is important that you check with your bank/building society well in advance of making a payment to check single transaction, daily value limits and cut off times for processing payments to avoid your payment to HMRC being delayed.

Faster payments

Faster Payments is a service that has been introduced by the banking industry that allows payments for sending online or telephone banking payments on the same or next day, providing the value of the payment does not exceed the limit set by your own bank or building society.

Before making a payment using the Faster Payment Service you should contact your bank or building society to confirm the services available to you, any daily value limits and the latest cut off times for sending a payment.

More about the Faster Payment Service

Cheque payments

If paying by post, your cheque payment must be posted early enough to reach HMRC no later than the 19th of the month following the end of the tax month or quarter to which it relates, so please allow at least three working days. Postal delays sometimes occur, which is why HMRC recommends the security and certainty of electronic payments.

PAYE payment deadlines

Month or quarter ended

Month or Quarter number

HMRC has to receive cleared electronic funds by *

HMRC has to receive cheques by

5 May

M01

22 May

19 May

5 Jun

M02

22 Jun

19 Jun

5 Jul

M03 / Q1

22 Jul

19 Jul

5 Aug

M04

22 Aug

19 Aug

5 Sep

M05

22 Sep

19 Sep

5 Oct

M06 / Q2

22 Oct

19 Oct

5 Nov

M07

22 Nov

19 Nov

5 Dec

M08

22 Dec

19 Dec

5 Jan

M09 / Q3

22 Jan

19 Jan

5 Feb

M10

22 Feb

19 Feb

5 Mar

M11

22 Mar

19 Mar

5 Apr

M12 / Q4

22 Apr

19 Apr

* If the due date falls on a weekend or bank holiday, then your payment must reach HMRC by the previous bank working day (Monday to Friday), unless you make payment using the Faster Payment Service. If your payment arrives late you may be liable for a late payment penalty.

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PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) payment deadlines

PSA payment deadlines by payment method

Payment method

Deadline

Electronic
(All methods except payment by post)

22 October
Cleared payment must reach HMRC's account no later than this date

By post

19 October
Cheque must reach HMRC's Accounts office no later than this date

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Specified charges

If you don't submit your FPS, or an EPS telling HMRC that you haven't paid any employees in the tax month, on time they may raise an estimated charge which they refer to as a 'specified charge'. A specified charge is HMRC's calculation of what you owe based on your previous PAYE filing and payment history. HMRC will raise a specified charge for each tax month that you fail to send an FPS, or an EPS telling HMRC that you haven't paid any employees in the tax month.

You will be able to see online any specified charge on your Business Tax Dashboard.

A specified charge does not replace the need for you to send your FPS or EPS. Only the submission of the missing FPS or EPS for each month will replace the specified charge(s) with the amount that is due for each month according to your records - which you should pay without further delay. If you send in updated year to date figures in your next FPS instead, the specified charges will remain in place, but your accounting record will be adjusted - to reflect the year to date figures supplied in the later month. Again, you should pay what is overdue without further delay.

If you are an employer who makes quarterly payments to HMRC you must still submit your FPS on or before the date you pay your employees, and/or an EPS to HMRC by the deadline dates - otherwise they will create a specified charge for each month. However, you will still only be expected to pay in full on a quarterly basis rather than monthly.

Using HMRC's Online Service - PAYE for employers

Using HMRC's Business Tax Dashboard as an employer

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Penalties on late PAYE/NICs payments

HMRC charge penalties on PAYE payments paid late - PAYE includes Income Tax/NICs, CIS and student loan deductions. This means you may have to pay a late payment penalty if you do not pay the PAYE due each month, quarter or annually, on time and in full.

There will also be late payment penalties for not paying other amounts due annually - including Class 1A NICs and PSA amounts - on time and in full.

Find out more about late payment penalties

Problems paying HMRC: advice for businesses, individuals and tax agents

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PAYE/NICs payments - problems or queries

HMRC can arrange quarterly or even annual payment options, depending on your circumstances.

Smaller employers with estimated monthly payments to make of less than £1,500 can ask HMRC to pay quarterly.

Follow the link below to find out what to do if you think you'll have a problem meeting a payment deadline.

What happens if you can't pay

Problems with reconciling PAYE payments made to HMRC

As an employer you are required to keep PAYE records, including records of the payments you have made to HMRC, for the current and previous three tax years. You should therefore be able to reconcile payments you've made using your own records.

If you are having difficulty doing so, you can contact HMRC's Payment enquiry helpline to confirm the amounts, allocation and dates of the last three payments made during the current tax year.

Find contact details for HMRC's Payment enquiry helpline

If you need to reconcile more than the last three payments, you will need to write to HMRC providing:

  • the total PAYE/NICs due for the year(s) in question
  • a list of payments made for the year(s) including references used, the period payment relates to (month/quarter number, etc) and dates of payment
  • the method of payment including, where appropriate, the cheque numbers
  • where you want to reconcile an overpayment, an explanation of how the overpayment arose, along with instructions for dealing with the overpayment

HMRC will check these details against their records and either confirm that they are correct or advise where any differences exist. You should write to:

HMRC
St Mungo's Road
Cumbernauld
Glasgow
G70 5TR

Alternatively, if you are classed by HMRC as a 'Large Business' and have already had contact with your assigned Customer Relationship Manager, you should approach them with any concerns over reconciling PAYE payments.

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