Basic PAYE Tools is free payroll software from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

What it does

The software allows you to perform most payroll tasks, including working out the tax and National Insurance for your employees and sending this information to HMRC.

If you have payroll software that can’t do certain tasks, you can use Basic PAYE Tools alongside it to:

  • check a new employee’s National Insurance number (NVR)
  • send an Employer Payment Summary (EPS)
  • send an Earlier Year Update (EYU)

Basic PAYE Tools has some limitations. You can’t use it to produce payslips, and it’s not designed for agents or bookkeepers with lots of clients. Other payroll software is available.

Before you start

You must be registered with HMRC as an employer and have a login for PAYE Online before you can use Basic PAYE Tools.

Use HMRC’s guide to downloading and installing the software if you need help getting set up, or want to check if your computer can run Basic PAYE Tools.

Updating the software

The latest version of Basic PAYE Tools will check for updates automatically, usually when the tax year changes or new rules come in.

The latest version is 16.1.16125.489. The number displays in the bottom-left corner of the tool.

Don’t uninstall the version of the software you’ve been using, or you’ll lose payroll data.

Download the latest version of Basic PAYE Tools

The software will work with most newer computers and up-to-date browsers.

The guide to using Basic PAYE Tools explains how to use the software to start sending payroll information to HMRC.

System requirements

You’ll need an Intel compatible CPU which supports the SSE2 instruction set, such as a Pentium 4 or newer.

The installer won’t work on processors that do not support SSE2, including:

  • Intel processors prior to Pentium 4
  • AMD processors prior to Athlon 64, including all Socket A-based processors
  • some Celeron processors

Supported operating systems

The following operating systems are supported:

  • Windows (XP, 7, 7 64bit, 8.1, 10)
  • Mac OS version 10.9 and 10.10
  • Ubuntu Linux version 14.04 and 15.10

Only versions of the operating system that run on Intel Pentium 4 or a compatible CPU architecture are supported.

Supported browsers

You can use the following browsers if you need assistive software support:

  • Internet Explorer versions 8, 9 and 11
  • Google Chrome
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Opera
  • Apple Safari

Using with other payroll software

You can download and use Basic PAYE Tools for specific tasks if your payroll software can’t do them.