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Small Business Tips

Employer PAYE Deadlines: What to Know & When to Pay

Nigel Graber
Wooden cubes calendar April 22nd. Cup of coffee, yellow donut and rose on black and white napkin,|Time clock: PAYE deadline, student loans, CIS

As an employer, you have many tax deadlines to meet. We'll cover the deadlines for PAYE and what it covers.

PAYE bill deadline

HM Revenue and Customs expects you to pay your PAYE bill by:

  • Monthly payers: the 22nd of the next tax month
  • Quarterly payers: the 22nd after the end of the quarter

If you prefer to make cheque payments, you’ve got until the 19th of the month.

What are you paying?

Your PAYE bill includes:

  • Income tax deductions
  • National Insurance
  • Student loan repayments
  • Construction Industry Scheme deductions
  • Apprenticeship Levy payments, if your bill is over £3 million

Your PAYE Settlement Agreements and Class 1A National Insurance bills are paid  separately. Make sure you meet the deadline or you’ll have to pay penalties.

How can you pay?

You can pay the same day or next day via online or faster payments phone banking or CHAPs.

To pay within three working days, you can use:

  • Online (by card)
  • BACS
  • At the bank
  • At the Post Office
  • Direct debit
  • By postal cheque

To pay within five working days, you can use:

  • Direct Debit (if not yet set up)

If the deadline is on a weekend or bank holiday, ensure your payment arrives by the last working day before it (unless you’re using Faster Payments).

Payment booklets

Get a payment booklet from HMRC so you can pay at your bank, at the post office or by post. Not using it anymore? Ask HMRC to stop sending it. They’ll automatically stop sending it when you make at least two electronic payments in a year.

How long will it take?

Faster Payments should reach HMRC on the same or next day. CHAPS payments should also arrive on the same day. Allow three working days for BACS payments.

Paying early

Monthly payers

If you pay before the 6th, add extra numbers to your reference number.

Here’s how to work out the number you need.

Quarterly payers

If you pay before the 6th, add extra numbers to your reference number.

Here’s how to work out the number you need.

Paying late

If you pay on or after the 5th, you need to add extra numbers to your reference number.

Here’s how to work out the number you need.

Multiple PAYE schemes

Want to make a single payment through CHAPS for multiple PAYE schemes? You need to send an online CHAPS enquiry form to:

Barclays Bank PLC
1 Churchill Place
United Kingdom
E14 5HP

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Online by debit or credit card

If you pay by credit card, note that there’s a non-refundable fee.

Reference number

Your payment reference is your 13-character accounts office number.

How long does it take?

Three working days.

Paying early or late

In the boxes provided, enter the correct year and month the payment relates to.

Paying for previous year

If you don’t select the previous tax year and ‘month 12’ for the last tax year, you’ll be paying to the current tax year.

Making multiple card payments

There’s now a limit on how many times you can use a card within a certain period to pay your tax. This depends entirely on what HMRC thinks is reasonable.

This applies only to multiple card payments against the same tax. If you can’t pay in full by card, consider using another method such as bank transfer.

At your bank

Make your cheque payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’ and add your accounts office reference number. Use the payslip for the correct period. Don't have one? Ask HMRC to send a payment booklet.

Your payment should arrive in three working days.

At the Post Office

After 15 December 2017, you can’t pay at the Post Office. Until then, you can pay by card or cash, up to a maximum of £10,000.

Use the payslip for the correct period. Ask HMRC for a payment booklet if you don’t have one.

Payment should take three working days.

Direct debit

Go into your HMRC online account to set up a Direct Debit and make a single payment. Each time you pay by Direct Debit, you’ll need to set up a new payment.

Reference number

Quote your 13-character accounts office reference number.

How long does direct debit take?

When initially set up, your Direct Debit should take five days to process. After that, allow three working days. You’ll see the payments on your bank statement as ‘HMRC NDDS’.

Direct Debit: Paying early or late

Enter the correct year and month for the payment in the correct boxes.

By cheque through the post

Send your cheque to:


Your payment should arrive within three working days.

What should you include?

Your cheque should be payable to ‘HM Revenue and Customs only’, then add your 13-character reference number. Enclose the relevant payslip. If you don’t have one, ask HMRC to send a new one or print one off online. You can ask for a receipt.

Has your payment been received?

Your HMRC online account should have updated within six working days of your payment.

If you haven’t paid anyone for at least a full tax month, you must tell HMRC using an Employer Payment Summary (EPS). Send it by the 19th of the month after the relevant tax month.

If you don’t send one, you’ll get an estimate from HMRC and might have to pay a penalty.

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