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Reporting PAYE in real time

Updated on 15 July 2021

Taking on an employee

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.

Illustration of people in front of a computer with various graphs

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’.

If you are online filing, the information is submitted automatically to HMRC online via payroll software – our dedicated 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 ongoing tasks section.

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 ongoing tasks section

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

EAS Employee Alignment Submission. Employers with more than 250 employees must send an EAS prior to the first FPS submission. This is a one-off submission that will be used by HMRC to check whether the employer’s payroll system's records match the information they have. In most other cases, 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 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/quarterly due date.

EPS Employer Payment Summary. This 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. If you need to make a correction to what you have submitted to HMRC after the end of the tax year, you may need to make this report.

NVR 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 is, you can send an NVR.

Other abbreviations you might see in connection with RTI:

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/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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