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Updated on 6 April 2024

Reporting PAYE in real time

This section explains a bit more about HMRC's Real Time Information system, including dedicated pages on the software available to help you file online, and the alternative paper process.

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Real time information for PAYE - overview

As explained in our filing options section, ‘Real Time Information’ (RTI) is a system which sees employers having to report Pay As Your Earn (PAYE) information to HMRC on or before their employees’ pay day. In other words, the information must be reported in ‘real time’.

Online filers

If you are online filing, the information is submitted automatically to HMRC online via payroll software – our RTI software page tells you more about the software (some of which is free) that is available.

The main submissions that you make to HMRC under RTI using your payroll software are the Full Payment Submission (FPS) and the Employer Payment Summary (EPS). We look at the FPS and EPS in more detail in our payroll calculations and submissions section.

Paper filers

Some employers are able to submit their RTI information on paper rather than online. See our paper filing page for more detail about what the RTI paper process looks like. We look at the calculations that you may need to prepare each pay day as part of the paper process in our payroll calculations and submissions section.

RTI – terminology and abbreviations

RTI is full of acronyms! You can find a helpful glossary of the main ones below.

EAS: Employee Alignment Submission

In the first few years after RTI was introduced, most employers had to send an EAS prior to the first FPS submission. This was a one-off submission that was used by HMRC to check whether the employer’s payroll system's records matched the information they had. Currently, alignment information is included as part of an employer’s first Full Payment Submission (FPS), so a separate EAS is not required.

FPS: Full Payment Submission 

You report your employee’s pay information by sending an Full Payment Submission (FPS). This will be the most frequent submission made under RTI – usually on or before each payday – and will be done through your payroll software. An FPS also tells HMRC the amount of tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC) that you have deducted from their pay. HMRC will expect you to pay this to them in full on the normal monthly or quarterly due date.

EPS: Employer Payment Summary

The Employer Payment Summary is the submission you usually make if you do not have any payments to employees to report for a tax month. You may also need it if you want to recover statutory payments, or claim the Employment Allowance for example.

EYU: Earlier Year Update

In the past, you may have needed to submit an Earlier Year Update to make a correction to payroll data you had previously submitted to HMRC for an earlier tax year. Since April 2019 corrections to past years payroll data are made via an FPS submission, and so EYUs became unnecessary.

NVR: National Insurance number Verification Request

You can send a National Insurance number Verification Request if you want to check that the National Insurance number provided by your employee is correct, or find out what your employee's National Insurance number is.

Other RTI abbreviations 
BACS Bankers Automated Clearing Services
BPT HMRC's Basic PAYE Tools software
CIS Construction Industry Scheme
DWP Department for Work & Pensions
L&P Viewer Liabilities and Payment Viewer
LEL Lower Earnings Limit
NLW/NMW National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage
PAS Penalty Appeals System
PAYE Pay As You Earn
SAP Statutory Adoption Pay
ShPP Shared Parental Pay
SMP Statutory Maternity Pay
SPP Statutory Paternity Pay
SSP Statutory Sick Pay
SUN Service User Number
UC Universal Credit
YTD Year To Date
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