The instructions on this page are only for you if HMRC have agreed you qualify to file on paper.

This page tells you how to calculate and record the right deductions from your employees pay. Details of what counts as pay are given on How the Pay As You Earn system works. Broadly it covers all cash payments, wages, salary, overtime payments and bonuses.

Recording pay details
Working out tax, NIC and student loans
Sending the information to HMRC

Recording pay details

As a consequence of taking on your new employee, you should have already set up a form RT11 deductions working sheet for them. Please remember that an RT11 is just a tool for you to use to help you run your payroll. It does not need to be sent in to HMRC at any stage, however you will need to keep it somewhere safe, as the data on it will form part of your payroll records

On each pay day the following details, along with some others, must be recorded carefully in the RT11:

  • Amount of pay
  • Tax deducted
  • Employers National Insurance contributions
  • Employees National Insurance contributions
  • Any student loan deductions

HMRC should send you all the forms and guidance you need to run your payroll, including RT11 – they are not available on GOV.UK. Otherwise, they are available from the Employer Orderline to those employers who HMRC have agreed can use paper forms.

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Working out tax, NIC and student loans

Each pay day you will need to work out the correct deductions to make from your employee’s pay. You can use HMRC's ‘tables’ (we have explained how the Student Loan Deduction Tables work below – all the ‘tables’ work in a similar way) which you can get by following the links below, to calculate the tax and other deductions:

  • National Insurance contributions Tables (for most men and women aged 16 or over and under state pension age you will use category A)
  • Tax Pay Adjustment Tables (to work out how much tax free pay they should get in that pay period)
  • Taxable Pay Tables (to work out the marginal tax rates to apply to the balance)
  • SL3 Student Loan Deduction Tables (you go to the table which corresponds to your employee’s plan type and look up the amount of weekly or monthly earnings in the left hand column to find the corresponding student loan deduction in the right hand column. If the exact amount of earnings is not shown, look for the nearest figure below and use the amount of student loan deduction shown for that range of earnings)

We look at how our payroll calendar can help you with your calculations in our news piece Do you know your tax week from your tax month.

If you do not have internet or printer access you can order paper copies of the tables from HMRC's Employer Orderline.

We have only given a brief outline here of the first steps to take. More detailed information is provided by HMRC in guide RT7 – Guidance for employers exempt from filing Real Time Information online.

For more help, phone the dedicated paper filing Employer Helpline (0300 200 3205).

You may find that after a certain number of rings, you are transferred to the normal Employer Helpline (if there is no one available to take your call for example). If this happens you should ask that the Employer Helpline adviser tries putting you through to the specific paper filing Employer Helpline again.

Tip: a quick and easy way to work out the tax and NIC deductions as an alternative to using the tables (or to just double check your workings from the tables) is to use the standalone calculators on GOV.UK.

The calculators will work out the amounts for you and will give you the figures that you need to enter into the various columns of the RT11. These do not need to be downloaded from the GOV.UK website. 

Once you have worked out how much you need to deduct from your employees pay, you have to pay your employee the ‘net’ amount and give them a payslip.

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Sending the information to HMRC

The reporting of the actual payments and deductions to HMRC will happen once a quarter on form RT2.

You must remember to pay HMRC the correct amounts of tax, National Insurance and student loan deductions. See our section on paying HMRC for more information.

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