Monday 16 March 2015

Get ready for the new HMRC Basic PAYE Tools

I use the HMRC Basic PAYE Tools. That lets me pay my PAYE obligations to the government each month. It's fairly easy to use. And today I got an email.

Hello Employer,

                         Important information for employers using Basic PAYE Tools (BPT)

We have identified that you use our BPT software to calculate and submit your payroll.  In order for you to use BPT
for 2015/16 you need to have downloaded the latest version which will allow the 2015/16 update (due early April) to
be found automatically.

The latest version (number 14.2.14330.88) is available now on the GOV.UK website and you must download this version
in full. You cannot get it using the ‘Check for updates/Check now’ setting on your current BPT.

Your BPT will not automatically update for 2015/16 without doing this.

What you need to do:

 *  Go to

 *  Scroll down the page and select the appropriate download link for your operating system (e.g. for Windows users
    select ‘Download basic PAYE tools for Windows – except Vista’)
 *  Once the download is complete, open the downloaded zip file and open the setup application file within it to
    begin the setup wizard.
 *  Proceed ‘Next’ through the installation as normal
 *  Once the installation is complete, select ‘Finish’

All employers should back-up their data before installing new versions of BPT.

Download now and be ready.


Helping us to help you.


A Walsh

Alison Walsh

Head of Digital Support for Business and Agents

So I checked the link they gave; it actually goes to I've not heard of that, so i did a WHOIS on it.

Registrant Name: GovDelivery, Inc.
Registrant Organization: GovDelivery, Inc.
Registrant Street: 408 Saint Peter Street
Registrant City: St. Paul
Registrant State/Province: MN
Registrant Postal Code: 55102
Registrant Country: US
Registrant Phone: +1.6517267309
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +1.9999999999
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registrant Email:

This means that the domain that I'm being sent to, was registered by someone in Minnesota, USA. That makes me wonder if this really is an HMRC web site. Or, to put it another way, I smell fish.

So I'm not going to download and install their software, but I am going to forward the email to HMRC.


  1. My analysis: this is not a scam - although, goodness, it looks like one on first view, just the opening address :- "Hello Employer" was enough to set my alarms off.


    1) they don't provide any 'click here' links
    2) they do direct you to a legit site, and tell you to download from there
    3) that legit site (hxxp:// does indeed inform you that you need to manually download the latest version.

    I've no clue as to why HMRC appear to have outsourced the notification of this requirement to GovDelivery Inc (a legit company, although the registrant, Dave Somerness, no longer runs it), but it all looks kosher from here.

  2. 1) Yes they do "Go to" which actually goes to
    2) No, the link goes to
    3) That's if you don't already have it installed.

    If this really is legit, then I'm appalled that HMRC would be encouraging their users to download software from a link sent in an email, with the link leading to a third party site.

    1. There was (obviously) no link in the email you copied into your blog, so I wasn't aware there was one. I manually went to the site to check it out.

  3. From the HMRC web site:

    "The latest version of Basic PAYE Tools will check for updates automatically, eg when the tax year changes or new rules come in."

  4. Ah, but also

    "If you’re not using the latest version (14.2.14330.88), you must download and install the software again for updates to work. The version number displays in the bottom-left corner of the tool. " and I'm not using that version yet.

    So I will do the download (but from the HMRC site, not from, and I still say that HMRC have told their users "It's fine to follow a link in an email and download and install software from a URL that isn't"

  5. Wow, just Wow! What on earth are HMRC up to?

  6. They have a great page on their web site "How to tell if an email is fraudulent".

    The email they sent me fails four of their tests, 2.1, 2.3, 2.4 and 2.5

    Why are they sending out emails that fail their own "fraudulent email" test?

  7. Can anyone run 2015/16 for BPT RTI yet?

    1. no, dont think its available yet

    2. Still not available yet?