Important changes to reporting PAYE in real time and HMRC’s online portal

By Cath Sheldon
We're ready for RTIWith only two months to go until Real Time Information (RTI) takes effect, many small businesses will be receiving a letter from HMRC urging them to get prepared to start reporting PAYE in real time (RTI).

The letter contains important information about the changes to HMRC’s online service and how you will need to submit PAYE information to them after payroll year end.

It’s important to note that from 6th April elements of HMRC’s online service (sometimes called the ‘portal’) will not be RTI ready, so if you run your own payroll system you will need to review and change the way you report PAYE.

At the moment HMRC have two tools to enable employers to submit PAYE returns:

The HMRC 1-9 Employee Free PAYE Tools (Desktop Software)

This will be RTI Compliant but only for companies with nine employee submissions or less, so if you have over nine employee submissions you will need to get RTI enabled software.

The HMRC Free Online and Return Form PAYE Service (0-49 employees)

This will not be RTI Compliant. If you currently use this service you will need to get RTI enabled software.

If you’re not sure of the best option for you, take a quick look at the differences between HMRC PAYE tools and Sage RTI ready payroll software.



Desktop software – RTI ready up to 9 employees only Sage Payroll desktop software is RTI Ready from 1 up to more than 25 employees
Online option – not RTI ready Sage One Payroll (online) – is RTI ready and available in choices of 5, 10 or 15 employees
Free for all to use From as little as £5 per month
A range of separate calculators including P11, SSP, SMP Automatically calculates full payroll including SSP, SMP, pensions and student loans
In built form submitter for such things as P11D Benefits & Expenses
Learning zone In-product support
24/7 Telephone support
Online support
Print payslips and payroll summary reports
Keep track of historical data and print historical payslips and reports
Seamless integration with Sage One Accounts

Don’t just take our word for it, why not take a free 30 day trial of Sage One’s online payroll, or take a test drive

Sage can help you get prepared and give you all the advice and information you need on getting prepared.

Don’t forget!

Whichever way you choose to submit real time information, either through HMRC tools or payroll software you will need to register for PAYE Online to enable you to do this, if you have not done so already.

Danielle Gibson, Small Business Team

  • Last year (2012) HMRC was focused on a re-platforming of their online services. I’ve been on a Working Together committee at HMRC for several years, and the re-platforming was the main thrust of the focus, well, that and closing off tax avoidance. Now, this year, all government departments are moving to, a single portal for everything, but with different entry points for different types of user. There will be two for HMRC, one for the general public, and a more technical one for professionals. Not sure which version the RTI will be better to use in, but will find out soon enough!