Download Basic PAYE Tools

Basic PAYE Tools is a free computer software package provided by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to help you run your payroll throughout the year. You can also use the Tools to claim the new Employment Allowance of up to £2,000 per year.

The tools are designed for employers with 9 or fewer employees and will work out the tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) for your employees in each pay period ready for you to send this information to HMRC.

This guide explains how to make sure you download the latest version of the tools and any updates, what you need to be able to use them and what to do to solve any problems you encounter.

On this page:

Who can use Basic PAYE Tools

Basic PAYE Tools are designed for employers with 9 or fewer employees. If you've already decided this is the best payroll option for you, follow the links in the table above to make sure you get the right version. If you haven't made up your mind yet, read 'Software packages and other payroll options' first.

Software packages and other payroll options

System requirements for Basic PAYE Tools

Basic PAYE Tools has been tested on computers with the following operating systems:

  • PCs running Microsoft Windows 8, Windows 7 or Windows XP
  • Apple Macs (with an Intel processor) running Mac OS X 10.8 or OS X 10.9
  • computers running Linux operating systems compatible with Ubuntu 12.04 or 13.10

The minimum system requirements are:

  • 1 GHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 500 MB available hard disk space

Basic PAYE Tools has not been tested on newer versions of the Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems, but should work on them.

Basic PAYE Tools may not work on older versions of the Windows, Mac or Linux operating systems, and will not work on mobile operating systems such as iOS or Android. Basic PAYE Tools won't work with Apple Macs fitted with PowerPC processors. If you have an Apple Mac computer and are not sure whether it has an Intel processor, select the Apple logo on the top left hand corner of your desktop and then select 'About this Mac'.

Customers using Basic PAYE Tools in 'Assistive Mode' (which is designed for users of screen reader software) are advised to avoid using the following browser and operating system combinations:

  • Firefox or Chrome browsers on a computer running Windows Vista
  • Internet Explorer 7 browser on a computer running Windows Vista or Windows XP

If the computer on which Basic PAYE Tools will be installed has internet access, but doesn't have broadband internet access, you will still be able to send your payroll information to HMRC online, but you may find it easier to download the initial version of Basic PAYE Tools from a CD-ROM as the internet download will take more than an hour. If you want to do this, telephone HMRC's Employer Orderline and ask for a copy of 'Basic PAYE Tools on a CD-ROM - this may take up to 7 working days to reach you.

Contact HMRC's Employer Orderline


Disclaimer - please read before downloading the tools

HMRC will not be responsible for any loss, damage, cost or expense arising out of the installation and use of this application.

The security of the data held in the Basic PAYE Tools is your responsibility.

If you are already using an earlier version of Basic PAYE Tools, HMRC strongly recommends that you back up your data before installing any new version.


Installing Basic PAYE Tools

After you click the 'download' link, follow the on screen instructions to install Basic PAYE Tools on your computer. How you do this will vary depending on the type of computer and operating system you are using, but will be the same as installing other software packages you download from the internet.

User guide

There is a user guide - with pictures of screens - that will help you with downloading and installing the product. You might want to look at this first.

Download 'First time users: Download and install Basic PAYE Tools' (PDF 1.7MB)

Additional instructions for Linux users

Instructions on how to install and open the tools can be found by following the link below.

Download and read how to get Basic PAYE Tools running in Linux (PDF 16K)

If you want to use the tools on multiple computers

Basic PAYE Tools is not designed to be used by multiple users on different computers, and you are advised not to do so. If you are planning to install Basic PAYE Tools on your network, please see HMRC's guide 'Installing Basic PAYE Tools onto a networked computer'.

Installing Basic PAYE Tools onto a networked computer (PDF 1.9MB)

Basic PAYE Tools installation problems

If you have trouble installing Basic PAYE Tools, please try restarting your computer and running the installation again.

Some antivirus programs may incorrectly quarantine software that you have downloaded from the internet. If you are unsure of how to retrieve a download from quarantine please contact your antivirus software provider for support.

If your installation problems continue or you have problems while using the tools, contact HMRC's Online Services Helpdesk.

Contact HMRC's Online Services Helpdesk


Get the version of Basic PAYE Tools that's right for you

It's important to make sure you always use the most up-to-date version of the tools, and the one that will run your payroll correctly and send the necessary submissions to HMRC.

Use the table below to get the version that's right for your situation.

My situation

My plans

What l need to do

I don't currently use Basic PAYE Tools

I want to start using the tools to run my payroll

Download Basic PAYE Tools for 2014-15

I already use Basic PAYE Tools

I want to make sure I have the latest version 

I want the 2014-15 version

Check if an update for Basic PAYE Tools is available

I use screen reader or speech recognition software I want to use the tools to run my payroll

Find out more about using the tools with assistive software

I need to complete an Employer Annual Return for 2012-13 and send it to HMRC

I plan to use the tools to complete this and send it online

Find out more

You need to get

Basic PAYE Tools for 2014-15

I want to download 2014-15 Basic PAYE Tools RTI for Windows (ZIP 39MB) (Opens new window)

I want to download 2014-15 Basic PAYE Tools RTI for Mac (ZIP 71MB) (Opens new window)

I want to download 2014-15 Basic PAYE Tools RTI for Linux (ZIP 49MB) (Opens new window)

Updates to Basic PAYE Tools when new versions or updates are available

I want to read HMRC's guidance about Updating Basic PAYE Tools


Uninstalling Basic PAYE Tools

HMRC recommends that you do not uninstall the Basic PAYE Tools after the end of the tax year. Employers are required to keep payroll information for 3 years after the end of the tax year to which it relates. If you uninstall Basic PAYE Tools you risk removing the database which contains all of your payroll information, and you remove the tools which allow you to access the information in the database.

If you are disposing of an old computer you should back up your data on to a memory stick or CD-ROM then uninstall the tools.   

Windows uninstall process

From your Windows desktop, select:

  • 'Start'
  • 'All Programs'
  • 'Basic PAYE Tools' or 'HMRC Basic PAYE Tools 2012'
  • 'Uninstall'

Alternatively, you can uninstall the tools by using the 'Add or Remove Programs' feature within the Windows Control Panel.

You may also need to delete the Employer Database separately. By default this will be in your user profile folder.


Service issues and Online Service availability

To check whether there are any known issues that may impact on your use of the tools and to find workarounds and solutions to those issues, visit the HMRC Service issues page.

Service issues - Basic PAYE Tools

Service availability