I run my payroll in tax weeks. What happens at the end of the tax year?

If you run your payroll in tax weeks, and you pay your staff on 5 April (both 4 and 5 April in a leap year), you’ll have an extra tax week – tax week 53. This is because the number of days in each tax year cannot be divided into 52 whole tax weeks and this creates a week 53.  A file for week 53 fills the gap between the last period of one tax year and the first period (week 1) of the next tax year.

What do I do next if I have a week 53 file?

You may find that your pay reference period dates don’t match with our system. After submitting your last file, week 52, we’ll ask during your next submission if you work in tax weeks. We’re asking this question to make sure that when you submit your week 53 file, it processes this file for the day(s) included in this period and aligns your dates to the next tax year, so you have no issues when submitting your week 1 file of the new financial year.

If you answer ‘yes’, you don’t need to do anything differently – simply upload the file produced by your payroll software as normal. Even if the dates don’t match what we’re expecting, we’ll simply update things our end ready for the new tax year.

If you’re not sure if you have a week 53 file, you can check your payroll and see if your contributions for the period starting 5 April were much lower than usual. If they are, you could have a week 53 submission.

If you use Sage payroll and you’re using the Pensions Data Exchange…

Sage customers can visit the Sage website to work out if they have a week 53. You’ll also find the dates for your pay period in the file which Sage has produced for you. If you have a week 53 file, it’ll show 05/04/2020 in cell C1 and D1. Please check with Sage directly if you’re not sure if this affects you.

What do I do if I don’t have a week 53 file?

If you don’t have a week 53 file or don’t work in tax weeks, you can answer no to the pop-up. You can then carry on sending your files as normal.


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