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7 Things HR and Payroll Managers in the UK Need to Know About PAYE



As an HR and payroll manager in the UK, being aware of PAYE (Pay As You Earn) is essential for ensuring your organization’s compliance with HMRC regulations. 

PAYE is the system that allows employers to deduct tax from their employee’s wages before paying them out. Employers need to understand how it works and what duties they have when administering it.

In this article, we’ll be looking at seven things all HR and payroll managers in the UK need to know about PAYE: what it is, who needs to pay it, how much should be spent each month, how to report payments accurately, and more. 

By understanding these aspects of PAYE, you can ensure your business stays compliant with HMRC regulations while keeping your employees happy too.

1. What is PAYE (Pay As You Earn), and How Does it Work?

The PAYE system is used by all UK employers for tax collection based on pay-as-you-earn. This means that income tax is deducted from employees’ earnings as they receive them, instead of waiting until the end of the tax year.

Under PAYE, employers are responsible for deducting income tax from their employee’s wages and national insurance contributions (NICs). This system allows the government to collect taxes in real time and reduces the administrative burden on individuals.

2. Who Needs to Pay PAYE?

All UK employers must pay PAYE for any employee earning more than 12,500 pounds a year – which is £240 per week, or £1,040 in a month. This also applies to foreign workers employed by UK companies, as well as independent contractors and limited company directors.

3. How Much Should Employers Pay Out Each Month?

The amount of PAYE that employers need to pay each month will depend on the total wages they’ve paid to their employees.

Most accounting software should be able to figure these numbers into what you need to pay. In the event your business is on a tight budget and doesn’t use premium accounting software, free products exist for a payroll tax calculator and tax rates.

The amount of PAYE will also depend on the tax code for each employee – this is a number based on an individual’s tax allowances and can be found on their payslip.

4. How Do Employers Report Payments Accurately?

Employers must ensure that payments are reported accurately and on time to avoid any potential penalties from HMRC. 

Reporting PAYE payments should be done through the government’s RTI (Real Time Information) system, which is a secure online platform for filing payroll information in real time. Employers must also provide payslips for each employee every month, detailing how much has been paid in PAYE to the government on their behalf.

5. How Can Employers Make Sure They’re Compliant?

To ensure compliance with HMRC regulations, employers must keep accurate payroll records and make PAYE payments on time. 

This means keeping up-to-date with any changes in tax codes, understanding deductions such as student loan payments and national insurance contributions, and making sure all relevant paperwork is filed correctly.

6. What Penalties Could be Faced for Non-Compliance?

Breaking PAYE rules can result in hefty fines from HMRC, so it’s essential to make sure you’re aware of all the regulations and that you’re compliant. 

Penalties can include fines for late payments, incorrect information, or failure to report PAYE payments correctly.

7. What Support is Available for Employers?

Employers who need help understanding PAYE can contact HMRC directly for advice and guidance. Many online resources help employers understand the system and stay compliant.


It’s essential for all UK employers to understand PAYE and how it works to stay compliant with HMRC regulations. 

With the right knowledge and resources, HR and payroll managers can ensure that their business is up-to-date on its payments while providing employees with accurate monthly payslips. 

Understanding deductions such as student loan payments or national insurance contributions will also help businesses remain compliant. Employers should contact HMRC directly or take advantage of online resources for any additional support needed.

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