When to report your payroll
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
On this page:
HMRC has announced that existing employers with nine or fewer employees,
who need more time to adapt, can report PAYE information on or before
the last payday in the month until April 2016. This
means that micro employers who are still finding it difficult to report
PAYE information on or before the date they pay their employees will
have more time to adapt their arrangements so that their business
is ready for full real time reporting from April 2016.
The change is narrower than the current relaxation which comes to
an end on 5 April 2014. This new relaxation will only apply to existing
employers with nine or fewer employees - all new employers, as well
as existing employers with 10 or more employees, will need to report
PAYE information in real time from 6 April 2014. You can read about
the relaxation which runs until 5 April 2014 in the section of this
guide 'Relaxation of reporting arrangements for small businesses with
fewer than 50 employees'.
This support for existing micro employers will mean micro businesses
and their agents have up to a further two years to change their processes
and their arrangements to enable them to adapt to reporting in real
time. HMRC recommends employers change their processes as soon as
they can to ensure they're ready, in time for April 2016, when all
employers must report PAYE information each time they pay their employees.
Aligning your payroll information with HMRC's records
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
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
Regular payments to employees, extra payments and
Each time you pay an employee you must send an FPS to advise HMRC
how much you've paid them and what deductions, if any, you've made
for PAYE tax, National Insurance contributions (NICs) and student
loans. This applies whether the payment is part of your normal pay
cycle, or an additional payment made between paydays - such as a bonus,
or if you've had to recover a payment from the employee. In almost
all cases you must send this information when or before the payment
is made. See the section 'Exceptions to reporting PAYE information
'on or before' paying an employee' for the rare occasions when you
might not have to do this.
Standard pay cycle information
If you pay your employees weekly, you must send a weekly FPS, or
if you pay monthly, a monthly FPS. If you have some weekly and some
monthly paid employees, you'll have to send an FPS both weekly and
monthly. If you pay your employees more than once in a week or month,
you must send an FPS on each occasion. Each FPS only needs to contain
information about the employees you are actually paying.
When you need to send an FPS, you can split the information into
batches if that is easier. For example, you can send one FPS for employees
and another for directors.
You can send your FPS to HMRC in advance, so if for example payroll
staff are going on holiday for two weeks, they can make three separate
weekly submissions immediately, one after the other, before they leave.
Additional payments, repayments and corrections
If you pay an employee an additional amount between standard paydays
you need to send another FPS on or before you make that payment. The
same applies if you recover an amount from an employee, for example
to correct an overpayment.
But if you need to correct an error see the guide 'Correcting payroll
reporting errors - current year'.
Correcting payroll errors - current year
on a day other than the usual payday
No payments made to employees
If you haven't paid anyone at all in a tax month, then you must
send an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) instead of an FPS. See the
guide 'What payroll information to report' - there's a link at the
end of this section.
Alterations to reports already sent to HMRC
If something happens that will alter information already reported
to HMRC relating to a payment that hasn't yet been made, you might
have to send another FPS to correct this information. For example,
if you submit an FPS before the actual payday, and then make an extra
payment (such as a bonus) before that payday, you'll have to submit
an FPS for the extra payment.
What payroll information to report
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 'Situations where employers
will not have to report PAYE information 'on or before' the time they
pay their employee' (PDF 27K)
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
- 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
Relaxation of reporting arrangements for small businesses
with fewer than 50 employees
HMRC recognises that some small employers who pay employees weekly,
fortnightly or more frequently, but only process their payroll monthly
may need longer to adapt to reporting PAYE information in real time.
HMRC has therefore agreed a temporary relaxation of reporting arrangements
for small businesses, for a transitional period until April 2014.
This relaxation means that employers with fewer than 50 employees
may send information to HMRC by the end of the tax month in which
the payments are made (a tax month always ends on the 5th of a calendar
This is a temporary relaxation intended to give some extra time for
filing to small businesses that pay weekly, fortnightly or more frequently,
but who find it difficult to report every payment to employees at
the time of payment and only run their payroll (or use an agent to
run their payroll) at the end of the month. This extra time will enable
these businesses to adapt their processes or change their arrangements
with their payroll service supplier so that they can comply with the
From April 2013, employers who choose to take advantage of this relaxation
will still need to report their PAYE in real time by the last payday
in the month or at the end of the tax month at the latest (a tax month
always ends on the 5th of a calendar month).
This is not a withdrawal of the requirement to report PAYE in real
time. All employers are still required to operate PAYE in real time
and HMRC expects most employers to be reporting PAYE in real time
from their first payday on or after 6 April 2013.
HMRC recommends that employers and agents move to real time reporting
as soon as possible in order to give them time to adapt their business
processes before automated penalties are implemented from April 2014.
Employers using commercial payroll software will find that their
payroll software is designed to submit their PAYE information as part
of their integrated payroll processes. So these employers should continue
to or start to report 'on or before' each payment is made to employees
as this will be the easiest and quickest way of operating their payroll.
HMRC has provided an example of how to complete an FPS where these
transitional arrangements apply.
Download 'Transitional arrangements
for small employers with fewer than 50 employees' (PDF 28K)
Summaries of statutory payments recovered, CIS deductions
suffered and NICs holiday
The amount you can recover for statutory payments such as Statutory
Sick Pay depends on aggregate levels of sickness, 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
- any Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) deductions suffered
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
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 on or before 5
April, whether it is an FPS or 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 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 or EPS for the
year, regardless of which payroll or employees it relates to.
Payments and deadlines
What payroll information to report
PAYE end-of-year tasks for real
time pilot employers
If you pay all your employees annually in a single tax month, you
can ask HMRC to treat your PAYE scheme as an 'annual scheme'. And
you will make your payments to HMRC annually too. You can send as
many FPS as you need to - and you don't have to pay all your employees
on the same date - as long as you pay them all in the same, single
You must advise HMRC which month you plan to pay all your employees
because when an annual scheme is registered they will record which
month your FPS is expected to be made. For example, if all your employees
are paid in March every year, HMRC will expect an FPS in March - and
if this is your only submission for the tax year you must indicate
that it is your 'Final submission for the tax year' and answer the
end of year declarations and questions. If, in a later tax year, you
submit your FPS in a different month, your expected month will be
changed by HMRC for future years. For example, if all your employees
are paid annually in December (month 9) every year and you want to
change the annual payday for all your employees to:
- an earlier tax month - say October (month 7)
- you must submit an FPS on or before payments are made to employees
in October (month 7) - your expected month will be changed to October
(month 7) for future years
- a later tax month - say March (month 12) - you
must submit an:
- EPS for December (month 9) to report no payments made to employees
- FPS on or before payments are made to employees in March (Month
Your expected month will be changed to March (month 12) for future
Once your business is registered as an annual scheme, you do not
need to send in EPS for the other 11 months of the tax year that you
make no payments to employees.
If you satisfy the requirements and think that an annual scheme might
apply to you, contact HMRC's Payment enquiry helpline and have your
Accounts Office reference number to hand.
Once your PAYE scheme is accepted as an annual one, if you send more
than one FPS in the tax year HMRC will automatically cancel the annual
payer status for that year and all following years - and they will
expect you to send all subsequent FPS and payments at least on a monthly
If you pay employees less frequently than each month, for example
quarterly or six-monthly (or you do not register
as an annual scheme as above), you must submit an EPS for all the
months that you make no payments to employees, by completing the 'No
payment dates' or 'Period of inactivity' fields to show the tax months
that you won't be sending an FPS. For example, if you pay all your
employees quarterly in tax months 3, 6, 9 and 12, HMRC will expect
an FPS for these months; but you must also submit EPS to cover tax
months 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 when no payments are made to employees.
contact details for HMRC's Payment enquiry helpline
PAYE/National Insurance payments
What payroll information to report
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
- 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
End of scheme information
If your PAYE scheme closes during the tax year, you must:
- complete the end of tax year questions and declarations as detailed
in the guide 'What payroll information you need to report' in either
an FPS or an EPS, as appropriate
- tell HMRC it's the final submission because scheme ceased
- complete 'Yes' in this field when you send your last FPS or EPS
- enter the leaving date in 'the date the employment contract ended'
for all employees included on the FPS
What payroll information to report
PAYE If your business
closes or changes
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
Reporting company cars on form P46 (Car)