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Turn on RTI reporting to HMRC in QuickBooks Online Standard Payroll

You are required to inform HMRC of your payroll liabilities on or before you pay an employee. PAYE (or Pay As You Earn) tax reporting is submitted to HMRC as PAYE RTI (or as Real Time Information).

To make it easier and ensure that an FPS filing is submitted each time you run payroll, it’s recommended that you get set up for RTI before running payroll.

You will also need this information to send your EPS, for example, even if you don’t pay an employee for a tax month (from the 6th of the month to the 5th of the following month).

You need to set up the following to make sure that your payroll tax information is submitted to HMRC:

  • HMRC credentials
  • HMRC reference

Once you’ve entered your HMRC credentials and reference, your RTI status is shown as Complete on the Payroll home page.

Before you run your payroll, you need add your Government Gateway credentials for the PAYE online service on the gateway. QuickBooks Online collects the necessary information and sends it to HMRC via the Government Gateway. By entering your credentials and saving it here, you won’t have to do it each time you finish running payroll and need to submit a filing to HMRC.

After you register your business, you should have received your user ID and password to the Government Gateway. Within 28 days of receiving your credentials, you can test it by visiting

If you don't activate it within 28 days, your credentials won't be valid and you will need to get new credentials.

To enter your HMRC credentials

  1. If you’ve already started setting up payroll and want to enter the credentials, go to the Gear icon > Company Settings > Payroll. Select the Edit icon next to Online filing with HMRC.
  2. Make sure that the slider next to Save Gateway credentials is turned on.
  3. Enter the Gateway ID and Gateway Password. HMRC provides the Gateway ID, which is a random combination of 6 letters and numbers.

For example, R72YA1. The password is also initially provided by HMRC and is a random combination of 12 letters and numbers. For example, 8CK3SA26U1G4. When you change your password, make sure it follows HMRC's rules and is more than 10 characters but no more than 128 characters in length.

  1. Make sure that the slider next to Submit FPS automatically with Payroll (or Automatically file in Settings) is turned on.
    By doing so, you’re ensuring that an FPS filing is automatically submitted to HMRC each time you run payroll.
  2. Save your changes.


The employer PAYE reference is issued by HMRC only when you have registered online for PAYE for employers. HMRC sends you your PAYE reference with their correspondence. If you don’t have a login, you’ll need to enrol for PAYE Online separately.

The PAYE accounts office reference number is also a number issued by HMRC, and it is used when making and reporting PAYE and Class 1 National Insurance contributions (NICs) payments for the current year.

To enter your HMRC reference

  1. If you’ve already started setting up payroll and want to enter the reference, go to the Gear icon > Company Settings > Payroll. Select the Edit icon next to HMRC reference.
  2. Enter your PAYE reference. The 1st part of the reference is 3 digits and this is the tax office number that deals with your PAYE, for example 123. The 2nd part of the reference comes after the forward slash and is your tax office employer reference, for example, /AB456. Enter any letters in upper case.
  3. Enter your Accounts Office reference. The Accounts Office reference is 13 characters long, for example, 123PA00045678.
  4. Save your changes.

If you've not yet received your employer PAYE reference, you must submit the payroll as you receive it and select 'Late reporting reason' code G as soon as possible. For more information on this, click here.

Standard Payroll hub

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