Basic PAYE Tools is free payroll software from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for businesses with fewer than 10 employees.
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 cannot 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. It is not designed for agents or bookkeepers with more than 3 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 21.1.21106.209. The number displays in the bottom-left corner of the tool.
Do not uninstall the version of the software you’ve been using because you’ll lose payroll data.
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.
You’ll need an Intel compatible CPU which supports the SSE2 instruction set, such as a Pentium 4 or newer.
The installer will not 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 8.1 and 10
- macOS version 10.15 ‘Catalina’ and 11 ‘Big Sur’
- Ubuntu Linux version 20.04 LTS (64-bit) and 20.10 (64-bit)
Only versions of the operating system that run on Intel Pentium 4 or a compatible CPU architecture are supported.
You can use the following browsers if you need assistive software support:
- Internet Explorer 11 (Windows only)
- Microsoft Edge (Windows only)
- Google Chrome
- Mozilla Firefox
- Apple Safari (macOS only)
Using with other payroll software
You can download and use Basic PAYE Tools for specific tasks if your payroll software cannot do them.