Pay-as-you-earn tax

Pay-as-you-earn tax
For other uses see Paye (disambiguation)

Pay as you earn or PAYE refers to a system of withholding of income tax from payments to employees. Amounts withheld are treated as advance payments of income tax due. They are refundable to the extent they exceed tax as determined on tax returns. PAYE may also refer to withholding of the employee portion of National Insurance or similar social benefit taxes. In most other countries they are determined by employers, but subject to government review. PAYE is deducted from each paycheck by the employer and must be remitted promptly to the government. Most countries refer to income tax withholding by other terms.


United Kingdom

PAYE is required in the United Kingdom on all payments of salary or other compensation.[1] PAYE applies only if the compensation is expected to reach National Insurance Lower Income Level (£5,044 per year for 2010–2011). The amount of PAYE is determined by the employer based on the tax code and National Insurance category. The tax code is determined by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) based on the employee's expected tax allowances, exemptions and reliefs for the full tax year, and partly by the employee's expected other income. Published tables apply the tax code to determine the amount of tax to be deducted from the salary or wage paid to the employee.[2] The employer is responsible for sending the tax on to HMRC each month.[3]

PAYE is applied to sick pay, maternity pay, directors' fees and pensions (but not the state pension), as well as wages and salaries. Because the tax code reflects other income (including the state pension), the PAYE system typically results in the correct amount of tax being paid on all the income of a taxpayer, making a tax return redundant. However, if the taxpayer's affairs are complicated, a tax return may be required to determine the amount of tax payable or refundable.

Forms and reporting

Upon starting a job, employees must provide their employer a Form P45 from their last employer. If the form is not provided, the employee or employer must complete Form P46. It is the employee's responsibility to inform HMRC of changes which will affect his or her allowances and reliefs and other income in the tax year.[4] At the end of each year (April 5), the employer must provide each employee a Form P60 reporting compensation and PAYE amounts. A copy of Form P60, as well as Forms P14 and P35, must be provided to HMRC by 19 May.

At the start of each year, HMRC sends employers applicable Forms P9(T), P9X, or P7X. These forms advise the employer what tax codes to use in calculating PAYE according to published tables.[5]

HMRC PAYE Online provides internet based reporting and calculation capabilities.


Devised by Sir Paul Chambers, PAYE was introduced into the UK in 1944,[6] following trials in 1940-1.[7] As with many of the United Kingdom’s institutional arrangements, the way in which the state collects income tax through PAYE owes much of its form and structure to the peculiarities of the era in which it was devised. The financial strain that the Second World War placed upon the country meant that the Treasury needed to collect more tax from many more people. This posed significant challenges to the government, and to the many workers and employers who had previously never come into contact with the tax system.


PAYE in Ireland includes deduction of income tax and PRSI (Pay-Related Social Insurance) by employers from payments to employees. The amount is determined by employers based on a Certificate of Tax Credits and Standard Rate (Certificate) provided by Ireland Revenue (Revenue).

PAYE applies to earnings of all kinds arising from your employment, including bonuses, overtime and non-cash payments known as Benefit-in-Kind e.g. use of company car, etc.

Forms and reporting

Employees must apply to Revenue for the Certificate by submitting Form 12A to Revenue. A Certificate is issued at the beginning of each tax year based on the employee's personal circumstances. At the end of each tax year the employer must give the employee a certificate of Pay, Tax and PRSI deducted during the year, Form P60.

A Form P45 is a certificate given by an employer to an employee on cessation of employment. This form certifies the employee’s Pay, Tax and PRSI contributions from the start of the tax year to date of cessation and also certifies that the deductions have been made in accordance with the instructions given by Revenue.

If the PAYE is not the same as tax that would be due for the year, the employee must file Form 12, an annual tax return.

New Zealand

PAYE (pay as you earn) is deducted by employers from employees' salary or wages, and paid to New Zealand Inland Revenue Department (IRD) on their behalf. It includes income tax and ACC earners' levy. PAYE is calculated by employers based on tax codes provided by the employee and tables provided by the IRD. Employees may calculate their expected tax and tax code using the KiwiSaver calculator.

Forms and reporting

Employees must provide their employer with a completed IR330 Tax code declaration form, advising their employer of their IRD number (which is one's identification number with the IRD) and the appropriate tax code for which to deduct in tax, and if required, student loan repayments. If an employer does not receive a correctly-completed IR330, The employer may deduct tax at the "no-notification rate" of 45%.

Employees use either the IR340 (weekly/fortnightly) or IR341 (four-weekly/monthly) PAYE deduction tables to determine the appropriate amounts to deduct from an employee's wages. Every month, a employer must file a complete IR348 Employer monthly schedule with the IRD, stating the income and deductions of each employee. Tax withheld must be paid to the IRD monthly or semi-monthly, accompanied (or sent separately in the case of electronic payment) with a completed IR345 Employer deductions form.[8]

Other similar systems

Several other countries operate systems similar to PAYE that may be referred to as withholding tax or deduction of tax at source. See the articles listed below.


The Australian Tax Office (ATO) administers a Pay As You Go (PAYG) withholding system. Employers must calculate the amount of income tax to withhold based on ATO tables, based on employee declarations.


Canada requires tax deduction at source on payments of compensation by employers. The deduction is required for Federal and provincial income taxes, Canadian Pension Plan contributions, and Employment Insurance.[9]


Most European Union member countries except France require withholding tax on wage payments.[citation needed]


Employers are required to withhold income tax on salary paid to employees. The tax must be paid to the government by the tenth day of the following month.[citation needed]

United States

Withholding of income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes is required in the United States. Income tax withholding applies for Federal and state income taxes. In addition, certain states impose other levies required to be withheld.

Notes and references

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • pay-as-you-earn tax — /peɪ əz ju ˈɜn tæks / (say pay uhz yooh ern taks) noun a form of withholding tax in which income tax is deducted by the employer from the employee s wage before he or she receives it. Also, PAYE tax …  

  • Pay-as-you-go tax — Pay as you go (PAYG) is a system for businesses and individuals to pay installments of their expected tax liability on their income from employment, business, or investment for the current income year. When used as an adjective, it is often… …   Wikipedia

  • pay as you earn — (PAYE) Employees pay Schedule E income tax and the employer is responsible for deducting the tax due (in accordance with the employee s allocated tax code) and paying it to the Inland Revenue. Certain records must be kept by the employer for the… …   Law dictionary

  • pay-as-you-earn — pay as you earnˈ noun A method of income tax collection in which the employer deducts tax from earnings before paying the employee (abbrev PAYE) • • • Main Entry: ↑pay * * * pay as you earn «PAY uhz yu URN», noun. British. the withholding of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pay As You Earn - PAYE — A system of income tax withholding that requires employers to deduct income tax, and in some cases, the employee portion of social benefit taxes, from each paycheck delivered to employees. The pay as you earn (PAYE) system requires that employers …   Investment dictionary

  • pay as you earn — noun the British system of withholding tax • Syn: ↑PAYE • Hypernyms: ↑withholding tax, ↑withholding * * * ˌpay as you ˈearn [pay as you earn] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pay As You Earn — Known as the PAYE scheme . Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein financial glossary A system whereby employees suffer income tax deduction at source from their salaries. Instead of paying the gross salary to the employee, the employer is obliged under… …   Financial and business terms

  • Pay-As-You-Earn — Known as the PAYE scheme . Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein financial glossary A system whereby employees suffer income tax deduction at source from their salaries. Instead of paying the gross salary to the employee, the employer is obliged under… …   Financial and business terms

  • pay as you earn — /ˌpeɪ əz ju: ɜ:n/ noun a tax system, where income tax is deducted from the salary before it is paid to the worker. Abbreviation PAYE (NOTE: The US term is pay as you go.) …   Dictionary of banking and finance

  • pay as you earn — PAYE The UK scheme by which both income tax and National Insurance contributions due from employees are collected by employers and paid over by the employers to the Collector of Taxes. Employers deduct tax and National Insurance from the weekly… …   Accounting dictionary

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