PAYE Settlement Agreements – Another HMRC Deadline Approaches

20 June 2019

A PAYE Settlement Agreement (PSA) is currently an annual agreement made with HMRC, which allows employers to settle the tax and National Insurance (NI) due on small or irregular taxable expenses or benefits provided to employees. 

The agreement must be put in place with HMRC by 6th July following the end of the tax year, so for the 2018/19 tax year, the agreement needs to be in place by 6th July 2019. The 2018/19 tax year is the final year that annual applications will be necessary. Going forward, the agreements will stay in place and roll forward into the next tax year. You will only be required to contact HMRC if you would like to add anything to your agreement or if you wish to withdraw your agreement with HMRC. 

The tax and NI due in relation to the PSA calculation should be settled to HMRC by 19th October if paying by cheque, or 22nd October if paying online. 

The tax due is calculated on a grossed-up basis at the employees’ marginal rate, given that the employer meeting the tax is seen as a further benefit.  Class 1B employer NI is then calculated on the benefit value plus the grossed-up tax, making a PSA quite expensive for employers

Items included in a PSA do not require any further reporting on forms P11D or on employees’ tax returns.

Items that can be included in a PSA must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Minor items e.g. a small birthday present or Christmas gifts
  • Irregular items e.g. relocation expenses in excess of the £8,000 tax exemption threshold
  • Items it’s impracticable to operate PAYE on or determine a value for P11D purposes e.g. staff entertaining and shared benefits such as shared cars or taxi journeys that are difficult to attribute to individual employees

Examples of items that cannot be included in a PSA would be:

  • Cash payments including salary, wages, bonus and other payments such as long service awards, in excess of the exemptions
  • Round-sum allowances
  • Large benefits provided regularly to individual employees, such as company cars or beneficial loans


There are some useful exemptions that can be utilised in relation to common PSA items, these include:

  • An exemption for annual staff functions open to all employees costing less than £150 per head. This is an area that can often get confused as this is a combined limit, not per event exemption and is a key area HMRC will focus on in any PAYE compliance review.
  • A £50 per year of service exemption where a long service award is given in respect of an employee with 20 years of service if they have not had a long service award in the previous 10 years. The second part is critical for the exemption to apply.
  • An exemption for trivial benefits provided to employees costing less than £50 whereby further specific criteria are met (including not being cash or a cash voucher, contractual or a reward for services).

If you require any assistance with preparing the PSA calculation or advice on the exemptions available and how to apply these, please contact Charlotte Edwards ( or your usual AAB contact.

To find out more about Charlotte and the Payroll and Employment taxes team click here. 


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