Skip to main content

A seismic change is coming to the PAYE system which impacts on every employer and employee. From 1st January 2019, the current end of year reporting regime gives way to a real-time electronic reporting procedure.

Stemming from Michael Noonan’s 2016 budget speech, the new PAYE methodology is designed to bring the recording and collection of taxation into the 21st century. Payment of taxes due remains unchanged, falling on the current monthly or quarterly cycles.

The necessity for change was driven by continuing change in the nature and complexities in employment patterns. Having and end of year reporting regime did not fit well within that environment.


Following an analysis of Employer data in 2017, a  number of key findings underlined the disconnect between the tax authorities and the world of work. For example, employment changes were sometimes filed retrospectively with the P35 while the failure to issue P45s or complete the paperwork properly was commonplace.

Red tape alert! Forms, in an increasingly electronic world are an inefficient way to gather information, particularly in an environment where entrepreneurship is encouraged. An almost incomprehensible increase in the number of businesses today compared to 1960 left PAYE creaking at the seams.

A Brave New World

Change can be a daunting prospect for businesses, particularly one which affects the emotive world of payroll. Nothing causes more staff problems than mistakes with pay. Bringing in a new reporting system shouldn’t make these more prevalent, but it will certainly get the blame!

Steps are being taken to minimise the pain. Parallel running began in September with nominated employers; their pain is your gain! Eradicating bugs from the process is a key plank to instilling confidence in users that not only is the information being presented properly, but it is also being used by the authorities correctly.

The acronym ‘SMART’ is going to become a very familiar sight. For employers, employees, and Revenue.

   Employer    Employee    Revenue
S    Seamless integration    Simplified online services    Statutory in-year return
M    Minimize compliance costs    Maximise use of entitlements    Make compliance easier
A    Abolition of forms    Automatic end of year review    Accurate income details
R    Right tax paid on right date    Real-time accurate data    Reduced customer contacts
T    Time-saving    Transparency    Timely targeted interventions


The key change for employees and employers is waving goodbye to P30, P35, P45, P46, and P60 forms. PAYE returns will be integrated into compliant payroll software, with the added benefit of bringing visibility of payroll details to employees in real-time via the ‘MyAccount’ Revenue portal. Big Red Book Payroll is already ready for the change so there is no need to worry there.

Success Is Hard Work

For the implementation of a modern PAYE system to be successful, the key is communication. It’s driven from the top-down, with the Revenue talking to employers and professionals (such as payroll software providers) before the information filters down to employees.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Change is coming, and preparation is key to a smooth transition.


Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.