When to report your payroll information

Almost all employers must report payroll information online to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when or before any employee is paid. This information includes details of employees themselves and their pay and deductions.

In addition, you may have to report certain summary information about statutory payments recovered and other deductions each pay period, and if you don't pay anyone in a pay period. You must also report final submission information at the end of the tax year, and certain information if your PAYE scheme closes.

You'll have to report when you provide an employee with a car, or replace or withdraw one. You may also have to report expenses and benefits.

This guide explains when you have to report payday information, and tells you where you can find out what information you need to include. It also tells you about the other summaries and reports you need to submit.

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Aligning your payroll information with HMRC's records

The following section applies to existing employees who are starting to report PAYE in real time during the 2014-15 tax year.

To ensure that the information held by HMRC matches your payroll information, you can send a payroll alignment submission before or when you first report your payroll information online. This brings HMRC records into alignment with your own information about who your employees are, their year-to-date figures and so on.

In most instances, you will be asked to complete payroll alignment using the information you provide the first time you send a Full Payment Submission (FPS).

However if you have 250 or more employees or your PAYE scheme is administered on two or more payroll systems and/or operated by different payroll providers, you must send an Employer Alignment Submission (EAS).

First report - checking your payroll records match with HMRC's

What payroll information to report

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Exceptions to reporting PAYE information 'on or before' paying an employee

On occasions you may find you are unable to report your payroll information each time you pay an employee and HMRC has provided a table to show the situations where an FPS does not have to be submitted on or before a payment is made to an employee, and what employers must do instead.

Download:

Exceptions to reporting PAYE information ‘on or before’ paying an employee (PDF 27K)

Best practice guide for reporting PAYE information 'on or before' paying an employee (PDF 70K)

In all other cases payments must be reported on or before the time the payment to the employee is made.

From April 2014 where you are unable to meet your obligations to report payroll information on or before' the date an employee is paid and one of the situations in the table apply, you will indicate the relevant condition on the FPS against the payment using the 'Late reporting reason' field:

  • A Notional payment: Payment to Expat by third party or overseas employer
  • B Notional payment: Employment related security
  • C Notional payment: Other
  • D Payment subject to Class 1 NICs but P11D/P9D for tax
  • E Micro employer using temporary 'on or before' relaxation
  • F No requirement to maintain a Deductions Working Sheet / Impractical to report work done on the day
  • G Reasonable excuse
  • H Correction to earlier submission

More guidance about the 'Late reporting reason' conditions can be found by following the link below.

What payroll information to report

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Summaries of statutory payments recovered, CIS deductions suffered and NICs holiday

The amount you can recover for statutory payments such as Statutory Maternity Pay depends on total NICs paid over, whether you qualify for 'small employer's relief' and other factors that are looked at from an employer or PAYE scheme perspective.

The FPS only contains information about specific employees, so you need to send an EPS to show:

  • how much you are able to recover in respect of statutory payments
  • any deductions you are entitled to make under the NICs holiday scheme for tax years 2013-14 and earlier
  • any Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) deductions suffered
  • you are eligible to claim the Employment Allowance

Once you've sent an EPS to HMRC, they can then offset the amounts you want to recover against the payments you're due to make. So if you want the deduction to apply to a specific month, you'll need to send the EPS before your payment to HMRC is due on the 19th of the following month. The timing of the submission of an EPS, with the amounts you want to recover, determines which payment HMRC will adjust in that tax year - follow the link to the 'EPS submission date' table in the 'Payments and deadlines' guide at the end of this section.

The EPS must show the consolidated position, inclusive of all recoveries and CIS deductions suffered, for the entire PAYE scheme. Even if you operate separate payrolls on the same PAYE scheme, for example a weekly payroll and a monthly payroll, you must send one EPS to cover the whole PAYE scheme. Failure to provide a consolidated position could result in apparent underpayments as HMRC will only accept the latest year to date information.

Note: If you have recovered any statutory payments, CIS deductions suffered or NICs holiday in the same tax year prior to sending PAYE information in real time you must report the year to date figures for any recovered payments on an EPS and this first EPS must be sent when you've sent your first FPS or by the 19th of the following month.

End of tax year information

When you send your final submission for the tax year, for most employers this will be on or before 5 April using an FPS or by 19 April using an EPS, you must ensure that you complete the end of year questions and declarations, as detailed in the guide 'What payroll information you need to report'. If your final submission for the year is an FPS and you send in separate FPS, for example for weekly and monthly employees, then include the end of year information in whichever is the last FPS for the year, regardless of which payroll or employees it relates to.

Payments and deadlines

What payroll information to report

PAYE final submission for the year and end-of-year tasks

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Reporting payments in advance

Almost all employers must report payroll information to HMRC on or before the time the payment is made. HMRC does not recommend that you submit FPS due in a tax year too far in advance of payment, because if the FPS is sent closer to the time of payment you'll be able to include any late amendments you have to report.

Whilst FPS can be submitted in advance for the current tax year - for example, an employer paying weekly could submit the FPS in advance each month, or a director/sole employee planning to take the same earnings each month could submit 12 FPS for the full year in April - those sent several months in advance are more likely to need correcting because an employee may leave, receive additional payments or you might receive a new tax code for them that changes the tax due.

For example: If you submit six monthly FPS for tax months 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in advance and then an employee leaves in tax month 3, you'll have to submit another FPS for month 3 to show the employee has left, with revised year to dates figures, and you'll also have to submit further FPS for months 4, 5 and 6, to replace the original FPS submitted, to show that:

  • the 'Pay in Period' is reduced to £0
  • the 'Payment date' matches the payment date you originally reported
  • the 'Year to date' figures and 'Date of leaving' are provided as shown on the revised FPS for month 3

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Expenses and benefits

You may also need to send other reports at the end of the tax year if you provide expenses or benefits - see the link below.

Completing forms P9D, P11D and P11D(b)

Providing, withdrawing or replacing a car

You must submit a P46 (Car) when you first provide an employee with a car which is available for private use, and again when you either provide them with an additional car or withdraw their car without replacing it.

Reporting company cars on form P46 (Car)

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