Christmas Payroll dates – HMRC have some festive spirit


In December employers often pay their workers earlier than in other months. This is for a number of reasons, from wishing to help with the cash-flow challenges of Christmas, to needing to run the payroll before the holiday period were offices are closed between Christmas and the New Year.

The usual rule is that employers must report their payroll information through Real-Time Information (RTI) to HMRC on or before the date of any payment.

However, HMRC eases this rule when an employer pays earlier or later because of the usual pay-day falls on a weekend or bank holiday.

Care is needed however because the payment date that employers report to HMRC can have a significant impact on the amount of universal credit received each month by their employees.

So, an employer could choose to run their payroll on Friday 20th December rather than their usual last day of the month payday but are able to report the payroll as occurring on 31st December.

Using the consistent pay-date will reduce the chances of two payments of income being classified in the same period for universal credit and reducing employee’s entitlement.