HMRC have issued special Christmas/New Year instructions to employers in respect of PAYE Real-Time Information (RTI) filing.

If you pay your employees early due to the Christmas holiday, then you are asked to ignore the normal rule for reporting RTI 'on or before payment to the employee', instead report at your normal report time. This is because early reporting can directly affect an employee's claim period for Universal Credit.


HMRC says:

"We know that some employers pay their employees earlier than usual over the Christmas period, for example, the business may close for Christmas and New Year. If you do pay early, please report your normal payment date on your Full Payment Submission (FPS).

For example: if you pay on 18‌‌‌ ‌De‌ce‌mb‌er 2020 but your normal payment date is 31‌‌‌ ‌De‌ce‌mb‌er 2020, please report the payment date as '31‌‌‌ ‌December 2020'. In this example, the FPS would need to be sent on or before the 31‌‌‌ ‌De‌ce‌mb‌er.

Doing this will help protect your employees’ eligibility for Universal Credit, because reporting an early payment could affect further entitlements."

Useful guides on this topic

PAYE Real Time Information Reporting
RTI is reporting payroll almost in 'real-time' to HMRC. Employers report to HMRC electronically in advance of making any salary or wage payments to employees.

Penalties: RTI late filing and payment of PAYE
Under RTI the employer files a FPS for each payment period of the tax year and there are penalties for late filing of the various returns as well as late payment of tax.