Revenue Payroll Notifications
A Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN) is an electronic file that contains an employees tax details for use when processing payroll.
This guide explains how to obtain and apply an RPN during the payroll processing cycle.
RPN’s are the PAYE modernisation version of what was previously called a Tax Certificate. RPN’s were introduced in 2019.
The RPN contains details of the employee, their PPSN, employment ID and their tax details.
An employee manages their own tax details via their Revenue myAccount login. From this system they can add or remove employments. More significantly, they can adjust their tax credits and the allocation of credits and standard rate cutoff points between employments.
This means that an employee with multiple employments can choose to split their credits across those employments, and make changes to those allocations at any time.
Revenue keep track of these different versions of an employee RPN, and update all employers with the new details when they are adjusted.
The key pieces of information that identify an RPN are:
- The employee PPS number
- Their Employment ID
- The RPN number
RPN’s are issued for the tax year, but will only be effective from a certain date range, as identified on the RPN.
Personal Public Service Numbers
A PPS number is a number combination of 7 numbers followed by 1 or 2 letters. Such as 1234567T or 1234567TH.
It is a unique number for an individual that allows identification for social welfare, tax, and public services in Ireland.
Citizens Information have a comprehensive guide here: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/irish_social_welfare_system/personal_public_service_number.html#:~:text=Client%20Identity%20Services-,What%20is%20a%20Personal%20Public%20Service%20(PPS)%20number%3F,is%20sometimes%20called%20a%20PPSN.
As stated above, the PPS number is used by The Revenue to uniquely identify an individual person. Where an employee has not yet been provided with a PPS number then The Revenue need other means of identifying the employee. In these cases the employee must be provided with a Payroll ID and a Date of Birth.
An Employment ID identifies a specific period of employment that an employee has within a company. The ID can be any combination of numbers and letters. We suggest that you start with a “1” for all new employees. If the employee then ceases employment, and returns at a later date, you would create a new Employment and allocate Employment ID=2.
An employment ID must be unique to the employee. So for instance Jane Smith, cannot have two periods of employment with the ID of 1. However, Jane may be Employment ID 1 and Steve Smith could also be Employment ID 1.
An employment ID must be provided by the employer, and only by the employer. Employees cannot assign them, The Revenue do not assign them.
When an employee self registers with a new employer over myAccount then The Revenue will create a draft RPN. This is an RPN that contains all the employee tax details at the time, however it will not have been provided with an Employment ID.
Anyone can potentially register themselves as an employee of a company over myAccount. So to confirm that the registration is a valid, the employer should request a new RPN with an Employment ID allocated.
It is important to note that this is not the same thing as a Payroll ID or Employee ID. Please see below.
Payroll ID / Employee ID
A payroll ID is a unique number that the company allocates to its employees. Ideally the Payroll ID stays with the employee for life and does not change.
Payroll IDs are used by The Revenue to identify employees who have not yet been issued with a PPS number. If the employee does not have a PPS number then you must not change the Payroll ID until they have been issued with a PPS number.
Some employers may also use Payroll IDs as a means of identifying employees for other HR related systems such as time attendance or HR management.
Revenue Payroll Notification Numbers
An RPN is the employee tax certificate that notifies the employer of any changes to an employee tax position, and provides the necessary information to calculate taxes due on income.
Employees can update their preferred tax position at any time via their myAccount page. The Revenue can also modify the employee tax position for various reasons.
Every time an employee tax position changes The Revenue will issue a new and updated Revenue Payroll Notification, and will increment the RPN number. The RPN number is like a version number, keeping track of the changes.
The employer must always apply the latest RPN when they are calculating the employee taxes. That is the RPN with the highest RPN number.
It should be noted that some RPN changes do not carry any financial implication, and do not actually update the employee tax credits or standard rate cut off points.
It should also be noted that RPN’s can continue to be updated once an employee has left the employer.
The RPN is a key piece of information for every payslip. We have a variety of tools for managing these documents.
Parolla automatically downloads the latest RPN’s for every employee whenever you open a pay run.
However, you can also request a fresh download, or even request all RPN’s to be downloaded again.
Creating an RPN
An RPN is valid for a particular year. Around the end of November or beginning of December the Revenue will create new RPN’s for all existing employees for the upcoming year.
For employees that join part way through a tax year, the RPN’s can be requested or created by the employee themselves via ROS, or by the company via Parolla, or in ROS directly.
An employee can use myAccount to register their employment with a company. They require the Employer Registration Number in order to register themselves. Revenue will create an RPN, but there will be no Employment ID for the RPN, as it is the employer who must confirm which Employment to use.
The Payroll Software can also request a new RPN for a new employment via the ROS system. In this case, all you need are the employee PPSN, a Start Date and the proposed Employment ID.
You cannot create a new Employment if that employment ID and PPSN combination already exists with Revenue.
The employer cannot update an RPN. This can only be done by the employee via myAccount or by the Revenue themselves
A new RPN will be issued every time there is a change to the employees tax position. This could be for many reasons, but most most commonly:
- Reallocation of Credits and SRCOP for Income Tax or Universal Social Charge
- Changes to employments with other employers. (Starting or finishing jobs elsewhere)
- Alternatives initiated by the DEASP through the Revenue.
When an employee tax details change, the new RPN will be issued with a new RPN number. RPN numbers increase incrementally.
It is the employers responsibility to use the latest RPN available when processing a pay run, except for instance where unreasonable hardship might be incurred by the employee.
Parolla will automatically search for updated RPN’s and apply those to open payslips whenever you open a pay run.
Overriding an RPN
An RPN can be changed by an employee when they change their tax position. Sometimes that will have significant impact on the current payslip.
For instance, if an employee is on Cumulative Tax basis, and reallocates the bulk of their tax credits from one employment to another, then the income tax calculations will recognise the loss of credits and try to deduct higher amounts of income tax. This could even result in the tax liability exceeding the employee Gross Income.
In this case it is possible to go to the Revenue Payroll Notifications page in Parolla, and manually select an earlier version of the RPN which contains the tax credits.
There is also the option to override the calculated tax deduction with a manual value directly in the current payslip.
Ceasing an Employment
The employer must notify Revenue when an employee ceased employment with the company.
This is done by posting a leaving date within a payslip submission. The Parolla Cease Employment Wizard will add that piece of information to the relevant payslip at that time.
The important point is to submit the cessation date in a payslip.
When the Revenue receive a cessation payslip they will mark the employment as ceased and issue a new RPN showing that leaving date.
This allows the Revenue to automatically reassign and employees tax credits and standard rate cut off points to any new employment with a different employer when they create their first RPN.
When Parolla receives confirmation back that the cessation payslip was successfully processed by Revenue then the system will mark the employment closed.
An employee can also cease their employment themselves via the Jobs and Pensions page of their myAccount. However, this will not trigger any update to the Parolla systems. The employment status will need to be manually changed to closed.
We often see employees with duplicate RPN’s registered for a company. In most cases this is an error caused by employers failing to cease the employee correctly via payroll. The second most common scenario is where a new employment is created when a valid current employment already exists.
The issue is common enough for Revenue to have a PDF guide on this topci, https://www.revenue.ie/en/employing-people/documents/pmod-topics/duplicate-rpns.pdf
It is important that the active RPN is retained, and the inactive one is deleted.