Seven things you never knew about PAYE

14 Jan, 2013

With the biggest shake-up to Pay As You Earn (PAYE)  in nearly seventy years about to start in April, we look at some interesting facts about PAYE.


  • There are double the number of people in PAYE today – over 30 million – than in 1944
  • Winston Churchill was Prime Minister when PAYE first came in
  • The person who piloted PAYE – Sir Kingsley Wood – died unexpectedly on the day it was due to be announced to Parliament
  • The system where employers would buy National Insurance “stamps” and attach them to a card ended in 1975 when they were incorporated into PAYE
  • When PAYE came in most people remained with the same employer they started working with for most of their working lives. Today people  move jobs  and change employers much more frequently
  • Every year HMRC receives incorrect or incomplete information from employers. A recent study revealed that 128 staff were entered as Mr, Ms or Mrs Dummy, while 40 people were apparently 200 years old after incorrect dates of birth were submitted to the PAYE system
  • Over 80 per cent of errors in employee data are due to an incorrect name, date of birth or National Insurance number

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