HM Revenue and Customs provide a free Basic PAYE Tools (BPT) payroll software system for employers.
It allows you to calculate your employees’ National Insurance contributions, record employee details, and perform several other functions.
You can use it as a stand alone program or alongside other payroll software that you may already be using. Hence, doing so would add extra functionality.
Note: The information on how to download HMRC’s basic PAYE Tools (BPT) is also available in Welsh language (Cymraeg).
HMRC basic PAYE (Pay As You Earn) tools allow you to:
- Record your employees’ details.
- Calculate income tax, National Insurance contributions, and any student loan deductions.
- Verify new employees’ National Insurance numbers.
- Assist you in calculating statutory payments, such as Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) using the calculators provided within the software.
- Produce employer payment records that provide you with the calculations of the amount you need to pay HMRC (on a monthly basis).
Like many other types of free payroll software available online, HMRC PAYE tools cannot produce payslips, P60s, and P45 forms.
Before You Download the Free Software
To enable you to use the free payroll software, you must first register with HMRC as an employer and have a login for PAYE online.
System Requirements for HMRC PAYE Tools
The software is not compatible with CPU’s that do not support SSE2 instruction set, such as:
- Some Celeron processors.
- Intel processors before the Intel Pentium 4.
- AMD Athlon processors before the AMD Athlon 64.
You will need an Intel compatible CPU with at least a Pentium 4 chipset or newer to use the payroll software. The software will work with most new computers.
Supported Operating Systems
You can use PAYE tools on computers using the following operating systems:
- Windows 7 (64bit), Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
- Mac operating system versions 10.13 and 10.14
- Ubuntu Linux versions 18.04 LTS and 18.10
Browsers that Support HMRC Basic PAYE Tools
If you need assistive software support, the following browsers are compatible:
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
- Microsoft Edge (Windows only)
- Internet Explorer version 11 (Windows only)
- Safari (Mac Operating System)
How to Get Free HMRC BPT Software
BPT is no longer available on a CD version. So, to get the software, you can download the appropriate version based on the computer you use on the GOV.UK website.
How to Update HMRC PAYE Tools Software
The payroll software will check for updates by automatic process and then inform you when it needs updating. This usually occurs in the new tax year (e.g. when different rates come into force).
Note: If you are already using an earlier version, do not uninstall this software before updating it. In most cases, you will lose any previous payroll data input into the system.
Setting Up HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools
Most employers will need some help to download and set up the new HMRC payroll software. If so, you can use the Basic PAYE Tools user guide found at GOV.UK.
Where to Find Payroll Software
If so, you will need software that allows you to report the information to HMRC. Modern payroll software can help you with a variety of tasks, including:
- Calculating your employees’ wages and deductions.
- Reporting required information to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
- Calculating sick pay, maternity pay, and other statutory pay.
- Recording the required details about your employees.
HMRC Recognised Payroll Software
HMRC has tested both free and paid-for software to ensure it can report required PAYE information online and in real time (RTI).
It is important to consider the requirements that your business may have. You should check the various features different payroll software provides.
Based on your business and individual needs, when choosing the best payroll software, you should consider:
- Does the software provide you with the ability to produce payslips?
- Can you vary payment periods for different employees (e.g. performing monthly and weekly payroll tasks)?
- Are you able to record and pay pension deductions and payments?
- Does the software allow you to send the required reports to HMRC (e.g. Employer Payment Summary (EPS))?.
Free Payroll Software
For smaller businesses (e.g. with less than 10 employees), HMRC has already tested and recognises the free payroll software listed below:
- 12 Cloud Payroll (Cloud and workplace pension software)
- 12 Pay (Management of your own payroll)
- Primo Payroll (Free payroll features for up to 10 employees)
- Capium (Completely integrated, award winning software)
- EnrolPay (Easy to use payroll for up-to 9 employees)
- Iris Software (Free RTI and Automatic Enrollment compliant software)
- Kashflow (Streamlined and comprehensive payroll software)
- Shape Payroll (Free forever for employers with up to 3 employees)
Paid-for Payroll Software
HM Revenue and Customs has tested and recognises a list of paid-for software suppliers and displays some of the features that they offer on the GOV.UK website.
Changing Payroll Software
It is important to check whether the new software will continue using the same employee payroll ID numbers. Some systems will not allow you to do this, which may result in duplicated records and an incorrect PAYE bill.
If your new software does not allow you to use the same employee ID numbers, you should insert ‘Yes’ in the Payroll ID changed indicator for each employee on your Full Payment Submission (FPS) to HMRC.