Using EDI to share PAYE payroll data with HMRC

For large employers sharing high volumes of payroll and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) data using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

This guidance was withdrawn on

This guidance has been withdrawn because Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) as a means of sending PAYE RTI data is being decommissioned on 20th April 2018. The Running payroll guide gives details on how to send data to HMRC.

Why you might want to think about using EDI

If you’re an employer who has a lot of PAYE information to share with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), you can use EDI. It provides direct, secure connections to HMRC - allowing you to transmit large amounts of payroll and expenses and benefits data.

What you can use EDI for

You can send these PAYE forms to HMRC

Form Details
P11D annual return for expenses payments and benefits
P11D(b) annual return showing Class 1A National Insurance contributions for the year
P46 (Car) when a car is provided for private use to an employee
CIS300 Contractor’s monthly return
CISREQ a verification request for the Construction Industry Scheme
EAS Employer Alignment Submission
FPS Full Payment Submission
EPS Employer Payment Summary
EYU Earlier Year Update
NVREQ National Insurance number verification request

HMRC can send these PAYE forms to you

Form Details
P6 tax code to use for an employee
P6B tax code to use for an employee
P9 tax code to use for an employee
SL1 start making student loan deductions
SL2 stop making student loan deductions
CISREP verification response for the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS)
NVREP National Insurance number verification reply
GEN generic notifications

Software and connectivity you need to use EDI

To use EDI, you need:

  • EDI-enabled payroll software
  • the right type of communications links to connect with HMRC

Your payroll software must be able to output your PAYE data in one of the following formats:

  • GFF (Generic Flat File)

HMRC can’t recommend one software product or service over another and isn’t responsible for any problems you have with software that you’ve bought.

If you use your own in-house software, you must check that the technical specifications of the messages it generates are compatible with HMRC’s Message Implementation Guidelines for EDI.

You need to have one of these types of communications link:

  • AS2 (Applicability Statement 2) - AS2 is a specification describing how to transport EDI data over the internet using the HTTP or HTTPS protocols - it ensures that transmission of EDI traffic is secure, reliable and authenticated

  • ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) - to use ISDN you must also have Odette File Transfer Protocol software (using X25 protocols)

  • VAN (Value Added Network) - this is a secure third-party network service that you can use to transfer and store your data

  • X.400 - this is a non-internet type of email standard - HMRC supports messages using the Cable and Wireless (CW) X.400 ADMD (administration domain) on the CW mail service

Register for EDI and get started

Before you can start exchanging information with HMRC follow these 4 steps:

Step 1: to make an initial enquiry do one of the following:

Step 2: submit your registration form

When HMRC gets your enquiry form they’ll contact you to set up your communication link.

Once the link is ready for testing, you’ll tell HMRC using the form ‘Registration for Electronic Data Interchange’ - this form is Appendix B of the EB3 (PAYE) Step by Step Guide (PDF 135K).

Step 3: test if you can send and receive files

HMRC will set up a test facility for you - this involves checking that you can send and receive forms without problems using your EDI link.

You only need one successful test to start getting forms P6, P6B, P9, SL1 and SL2. For all other forms the number of successful tests you need depends on what payroll software you’re using. If you’re using:

  • EDI software that HMRC recognises - one successful test is enough
  • any other software - you must have 4 consecutive successful tests for each form

The test files HMRC uses will usually be blank. But you can ask to include dummy data, like code change details - so that you can check that the data is being transferred into your payroll software without problems.

Step 4: go live

Once you’ve successfully tested for all forms tell HMRC and agree a go live date.

Published 12 June 2014