Using HMRC's Online Service - PAYE for employers

This guide explains the differences you will see in HM Revenue & Customs' (HMRC's) PAYE Online for employers service when reporting your PAYE information in real time - and what you can continue to send and receive using PAYE Online.

Employers reporting their PAYE information in real time still need to use PAYE Online but will use fewer features.

You still submit reports online but these reports are sent directly to HMRC using your payroll software or HMRC's Basic PAYE Tools.

On this page:


How to use PAYE Online

After completing the registration process you will be able to use PAYE Online through the login page for those services you need.

PAYE Online login page

You can use PAYE Online to:

  • send expenses and benefits returns - including P46 (Car), P9D, P11D and P11D(b) - although this may be done directly from your payroll software if it supports this feature
  • receive tax codes and notices, although you may choose to view these using the PAYE Desktop Viewer (PDV), or your payroll software if supported - there is more information about the PDV later in this guide
  • set up email reminders, and also view your current tax position
  • appeal a late filing or late payment penalty for the tax years 2014-15 onwards

If you prefer, some PAYE Online features can be accessed in other ways:

  • The Business Tax Dashboard will show you your current tax position and other information
  • The PDV will show you your notices, reminders and messages - your payroll software may let you read notices, reminders and messages, and/or submit certain returns, directly - see the link below

Using HMRC's Business Tax Dashboard as an employer

Choosing HMRC recognised PAYE software

Software packages and other payroll options



Online notices - Generic notification service (GNS)

Why you will receive a GNS message

You may receive a GNS messages to give you notice that you:

  • don't send your pay submissions on time
  • don't send the expected number of returns each month
  • are late making payments to HMRC

Types of GNS message

There are 4 types of message that you may receive:

  • Late filing notice
  • Non-filing notice
  • Late payment notice
  • Late payment reminder notice

Viewing GNS messages

If you have registered for e-mail reminders you will receive an email alert if you have any new notices to view. The email will include a link direct to the notice you have received.

HMRC recommends you set up email reminders and notifications using the options available in PAYE Online. This means you'll automatically be sent an email when there's something new for you to view but you can view GNS messages at any time by:

  • logging onto PAYE online
  • using HMRC's PAYE Desktop Viewer
  • using your commercial payroll software, as long as it is compatible. Check with your software provider

If you use Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the message will be sent using the same EDI channel. EDI users can now choose how to receive GNS notices. To make the choice go to HMRC Online, select the Generic Notice option link and choose between receiving GNS notifications through either EDI or Internet.

Late filing notice - you may receive this if you send an FPS with a payment to an individual which is earlier than the FPS date, and the FPS does not give a valid late reporting reason code for the relevant payment.

HMRC issues these notices based on information received within a tax month ie from 6th of the month to the 5th of the following month.

Example 1 - A Company Ltd submit an FPS on 4 June that includes payment dates of 17 May, 3 June, 6 June and 10 June. HMRC's systems record two failures (17 May and 3 June) but only issue one late file GNS on the 5 June.

Example 2 - B Company Ltd submits an FPS on 4 June that includes payment dates of 17 May, 3 June, 6 June and 10 June. The 3 June payment qualifies for the 'Impractical to report work done on the day' easement code F, the system extends the filing date by 7 days until the 10 June for the payment. However the system still records a failure for the 17 May payment and sends a late filing GNS on 5 June, following receipt of the FPS.

More information on 'Exceptions to reporting PAYE information 'on or before' paying an employee' can be found by following the link below.

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

HMRC sends late filing notices on a daily basis. You'll only get one notice per tax month even if you've sent more than one FPS during that month that contains payment to an individual which is earlier than the date of the FPS. This will be for the first late filing of that tax month and no further notices will be issued.

Non-filing notice - you may receive this if you do not:

  • send the number of FPS that HMRC expects from you, depending on how often you pay and report PAYE
  • report using an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) that no payments have been made for a specific period

If you run payroll monthly then normally a minimum of 1 FPS will be expected each month. If you pay your employees more frequently than once a month more than 1 FPS is expected.

If you change the amount of time between paying your employees, for example from weekly to monthly, you must contact HMRC Employer Helpline to tell us your pay frequency has changed or you may receive a non-filing notice.

Find contact details for HMRC's Employer Helpline

Changing the interval between paydays

HMRC works out when you are expected to report your PAYE based on previous filing data and the following principles:

  • the review period for non-filing is a tax month
  • pay frequency
  • all employers are expected to send at least one FPS each tax month
  • all schemes with employees paid weekly or fortnightly should file multiple submissions within a period

These are issued on or around the 7th of the following tax month. Only one per PAYE scheme is issued even if more than 1 FPS was not filed the previous tax month.

If you did not pay any employees in a specific tax month you should send a 'no payment' EPS by the 19th following the end of the month you didn't pay anyone. HMRC will send you a non-filing notice after the end of the tax month on the 5th to remind you to send your EPS by the 19th.

Late payment notice - sent when you failed to pay the full amount you owe on time.

For example - C Ltd submits an FPS showing a tax liability of £1,200 for the month ended 5 June. C Ltd pays £600 electronically on 10 June and another £300 on 21 June. A failure is created in respect of the £300 outstanding and the Late Payment notice is issued on 1 July. HMRC carries out the late payment checks after each monthly or quarterly payment deadline is passed, and will send out the Late Payment notices shortly after that.

Late payment reminder notice - you may receive this if you continue to pay late. HMRC will issue this notice in the same way as the original Late Payment Notice, but you will receive one of these if you have already received three or more late payment notices in the tax year.

You should make sure you pay the full amount you owe on time to avoid possible interest charges.

Interest charges on late PAYE/NICs payments

What to do when you receive a GNS message

A GNS message is not a notification of a penalty. It is a customer service message to help you put processes in place to make sure you report and pay your PAYE obligations on time.

Automatic late filing penalties start on:

  • 6 October 2014 for employers with 50 or more employees
  • 6 Match 2015 for employers with fewer than 50 employees

You should check the information submitted to HMRC to establish the reason for this apparent failure. You do not need to contact HMRC on receipt of this message.

If you have received a late payment GNS, you will not get an automatic penalty for 2014-15 but you may do if you continue to pay late next year. In 2014-15, HMRC will be issuing penalties only in respect of the most persistent and serious payment failures. You do not need to take further action except to ensure you pay your PAYE in full and on time.



Check for new notices regularly or get email reminders

The notices and reminders HMRC sends you can contain important information. It is important you check regularly to see whether any new ones have been sent to you.

HMRC recommends you set up email reminders and notifications using one of the options available in PAYE Online. This means you'll automatically get sent an email when there's something new for you to view.

Log in to PAYE Online and go to 'Provide us with an email address'



What returns you file online


You may have to separately make expenses and benefits returns yourself using PAYE Online at the end of the tax year, if your payroll software doesn't do it for you. For more information about sending these returns, follow the link below.

Completing forms P9D, P11D and P11D(b)

Company cars

You may continue to use PAYE Online throughout the tax year to tell HMRC when you supply a company car, or withdraw one without replacing it, if your payroll software doesn't do this for you. If you choose to send form P46 (Car) when you replace a car with a different one, you must send this through PAYE Online, and not on paper.

Reporting company cars on form P46 (Car)



Lost User IDs and passwords

If you've lost your User ID or password for PAYE Online, you'll find links on the HMRC Online Services homepage to step-by-step information explaining what to do.

HMRC Online Services