RTI Real Time Information FAQs

What data needs to be checked for RTI?

This information is changing and will be updated in the payroll software as it is defined but as a minimum you must check that you have accurate and up to date information on the following

Employer PAYE number and Accounts Office number



  • Last name, first name and second name (this is your given names, not nicknames)
  • Title
  • Gender
  • NI Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • UK Postcode
  • Starting Date
  • Pay Frequency
  • Hours Worked

If I register now as an employer do I automatically get registered for RTI

Yes unless you specify that you do not wish to be, you will automatically be registered in the RTI pilot. New employers registering between 6 November 2012 and April 2013 will automatically be included in the real time (RTI) pilot, so you must report in real time.

You will need to register using HMRC email form instead if you don’t want to be in the pilot which gives you the option to be included in the scheme or not.

 Do I need to register? I only pay employees under the lower earnings limit (LEL)

Yes, you need to add ALL employees to the payroll system and report in real time.  If you are not registered as an employer, do it now.

Will a nil return still need to be filled if no payment is due?

No as part of the RTI process a nil employer payment submission (EPS) will be sent to HMRC. So if an employee is not earning anything that month/week or earning at the threshold (so no tax or NI is due) an RTI submission will still be required. But this process will report no NI or PAYE is due.

Are there any exceptions to RTI

Currently there are some exceptions where certain types of employees such as employees paid daily, paid for the hours they worked, share related payments and notional type payments which may be impractical to report at the time of payment.

What Dates will I need to pay any PAYE taxes due?

The dates by which PAYE tax and NI is due to be paid will not change under RTI so a payment will still be made either monthly (by the 19th of the month after the period end) or quarterly depending on what amounts need to be paid. HMRC will know the amounts to be paid because the information has been submitted in your Full Payment Submissions (FPS).

Once I have joined RTI are P35s and P14s still required?

As most employers will join RTI in April 2013 then they will need to file their P35/P14s as normal for the year tax year 2012-13 before moving onto RTI. Employers that join RTI early (before April 2013) as part of the HMRC RTI pilot scheme will not be required to file a P35/P14 for tax year 2012-13. After April 2013 P35 and P14s will not be required by anyone.

What about the P45/P46 for joiners and leavers?

Once an employer has joined RTI then there is no need to submit P45 or P46 forms for starters and leavers to HMRC, because this is sent automatically as part of the RTI submission. But for now employers will still need to issue a paper copy of the P45 (a ‘leaver statement’) when an employee leaves, also, a P46 (employee without a P45) will still need to be completed by the employee and kept for your records, and this is not planning to change for the time being.

What about P60s?

P60s will still be required and need to be given to the employees as they are currently each tax year.

What about expenses and benefits – P11d?

Nothing is changing with regards to expenses and benefits – so you will still be required to file a P11d as before if one is due for an employee and/or Director.

Will RTI change the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) payment and reporting process?

No the reporting under RTI is not changing the existing CIS process. Employers will continue to complete and file monthly CIS300 returns due under the existing CIS arrangements.

What will not change under RTI

  • PAYE – PAYE scheme will be the same using RTI- in terms of deductions, coding notices rates of pay thresholds and so on. It is only the reporting that changes
  • Reporting a change to HMRC such as updating employee’s information – once the initial submission takes place information at that time is sent electronically to HMRC. Subsequent changes to addresses or names will not be updated on an RTI submission. It remains the responsibility of the individual employee to notify HMRC of changes of name, address, and so on
  • Coding notices – using RTI employers will still be able to choose how they receive coding notices
  • Payment dates using RTI – payment dates to HMRC will remain the same using RTI as above
  • Forms P60 – You will still need to give employees a P60 at the end of the year, although RTI replaces the need for end of year filing to HMRC of P35 and P14 reports, it will still be a requirement to issue employees with P60s at year-end
  • Forms P11 – RTI will not affect the requirement to complete this P11 (deductions sheet) or the electronic equivalent

When will I start sending RTI submissions?

Most employers will start filing RTI returns in April 2013. HMRC will be in touch with each company to inform them of their particular join date. Those employers / agents who have applied to be part of the RTI pilot scheme will be contacted by HMRC in advance of their joining dates.

Will I need new software

If you currently do not have software this will be a requirement. If you have payroll software you will need to check it is RTI compliant. If you have fewer than 9 employees you can use HMRC’s Free Basic PAYE Tools or you can use a payroll service provider (such as ourselves). HMRC.gov.uk/rti provides a list of payroll options.

What Should I do in preparation

Employers will need to ‘align’ their data with HMRC. You must therefore ensure that the payroll data is accurate and complete. This will require that all data currently held about an employee is correct and especially the information which is compulsory. It is essential that correct names are used and in full and not nicknames.

There are new compulsory fields currently this is hours worked but HMRC will be informing employers if other information is required.

You will need to use compliant RTI software (as above) which will contain all the necessary information on what data is required and often checks and validations that what is held is correct.

If you use someone else, such as an accountant or bureau, to process your payroll they should be contacting you very soon to collect the data and ensure what they hold is accurate and complete.

Remember even if someone else is doing the payroll for you it is your responsibility to ensure this data on your employees for payroll is correct.

What happens if I make a mistake?

If you make a change to a pay period after you have submitted the RTI return for that period (e.g. because you needed to correct a mistake in the payroll), there will be a way to correct the mistake in the software, so that the correct information is submitted.

What happens if I need to make deductions?

Deductions for CIS payments for example will continue to work as before, remember it is only the reporting of the information that is changing.

I have heard about a ‘Bacs Hash Tag’ – what is this and do I need to send it?

The small minority of UK employers that pay their employees using either Direct Bacs software or via a Bacs Bureau, will need to generate a ‘hash tag’ for each employee as part of the submission. (The vast majority of employers do not pay their employees this way, for example those using Bank Transfer, Internet Banking, cheque or cash.) The software should automatically generate this ‘hash tag’ for employees that are paid via Direct Bacs software or via a Bacs Bureau. The hash tag is used by HMRC to cross-reference the RTI submission with the corresponding Direct Bacs payment submission.

How does RTI affect me as an individual?

Generally, you won’t see much of a difference. You may be required to verify data held by your employer and then ultimately by HMRC. Under RTI the data in the payroll system will be up-to-date and will mean that more people will pay the correct tax in-year. It will also help to support the information required for the introduction of the DWP’s Universal Credit in October 2013, information in real time means that claimants’ welfare payments can be adjusted in year to reflect their circumstances, at the time rather than in the following tax year.

If RTI supports Universal Credit I am concerned that it will affect the benefits I receive

Any means-tested benefits like Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credit Income Support, and so on will not be affected until 2013 at the very earliest. As Universal Credit is being administered by the DWP then they will tell you about any changes.

What is submitted

Two reports may be submitted; an FPS Full Payment Submission and an EPS Employers Payment Summary (EPS)

  • The FPS is the ‘main’ submission and will be sent each time that an employee is paid. So if employees are paid monthly you send 12 FPS submissions per year, if employees are paid weekly you send 52 FPS submissions
  • It contains details of all employees that are being paid and includes tax code, gross pay, tax deducted, NIC, sick pay (SSP), student loans and so on together with their year-to-date figures
  • It will also show details of employees that have joined or left since the previous pay period
  • The first submission of an FPS that an employer sends under RTI will align the data with HMRC data, and will enable HMRC to verify that they have the correct details held on file for each employee. It will contain details of all employees that have been with the employer since the start of the tax year, whether they have been paid or if they have ceased employment
  • If during any one PAYE month an employer has made any statutory payments to employees (Sick Pay, Maternity pay etc.), or has suffered any CIS deductions, or has not had the need to deduct tax or NIC from any of its employees (for example, it may not have paid anyone), then this information is reported to HMRC via the Employers Payment Summary (EPS) submission


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