In this section:
- Using HMRC’s PAYE Desktop Viewer
The PAYE Desktop Viewer (PDV) is an application provided by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that allows you to view, search and sort online PAYE codes, notifications and reminders. This guide explains how the PDV works, and how to download and start using it.
On this page:
- PDV: new application now available
- What is the PDV?
- Who can use PDV?
- Downloading the PDV
- Installing the PDV
- Setting up and using the PDV
- PDV user roles
- Data security
- Backing up your data
- Problems installing or using PDV
- Uninstalling the PDV
The new PAYE Desktop Viewer (PDV) is an alternative way to receive, view and manage your online PAYE codes and notices.
Getting your codes and notices online is convenient, quick and can help your employees be on the right code faster.
HMRC automatically sends your PAYE codes and notices to you online when you activate PAYE Online for employers. Some of you may do this through your payroll software but for those that don’t, you will use the HMRC website to get them through the Data Provisioning Service (DPS).
You have told us that DPS doesn’t really work for you in a way you would like. So HMRC has developed the PDV - a new application to help you better manage your codes and notices. PDV is an application that you download from HMRC and install on your desktop PC or laptop.
Some key improvements if you use PDV
- see an overview of the codes and notices you have received
- list codes and notices by client if you are an agent
- see which codes and notices are ‘unactioned’ and lets you mark records as ‘actioned’
- create lists of items based on, name, form, client and date using improved search functions
- add comments to codes and notices
- send codes and notices to another PDV user in your organisation to action
Trial users of PDV have said that it is easy to install and use and helps them manage their codes and notices far more efficiently. PDV is available to all employers and agents.
The first time that you connect to HMRC and download information using PDV, you will get everything previously displayed in DPS since you started to receive codes and notices online. So HMRC recommends that you install PDV and start downloading codes and notices as soon as you can.
Follow the steps in this guide to start using PDV.
The PDV is a downloadable application provided by HMRC as an alternative to the default application used to send you notifications. HMRC calls this the ‘Data Provisioning Service (DPS) Portal Viewer’ The PDV is designed to give you flexibility when handling notifications received online, and is particularly suitable for employers and agents who receive a lot of codes and notices during the year.
Once you’ve installed the PDV you can use it to download your notices and PAYE code numbers and view them offline.
The notices that the PDV can download and view are:
- P6 – Notice of an employee’s tax code
- P6B – Notice of an employee’s tax code following the Budget
- P9 (Bulk issue) – Notice of an employee’s tax code for the new tax year
- P9 (Daily issue) – Notice of an employee’s tax code for the year
- SL1 – Notice to start student loan deductions
- SL2 – Notice to stop student loan deductions
- reminders for Employer Annual Returns and any payments due
- notifications and incentive letters
Please note that because the downloaded information is stored locally on your computer you must be careful to protect it.
Using both DPS and PDV
HMRC’s default software (The Data Provisioning Service (DPS) Portal Viewer) can still be used, whether or not you choose to use the PDV.
Any employer or agent who is registered for PAYE Online can use the PDV to download codes and notices. You may find it particularly useful if you:
- use the DPS Portal Viewer but need the improved features, for example easier sorting data, or marking a notice as ‘unactioned’ – both of which the PDV offers
- don’t currently use third-party software to access codes and notices
- currently receive codes and notices on paper
If you’re a larger employer with several payroll staff, you can install the PDV on as many computers as necessary.
Computer and software requirements
To be able to download the PDV application, your computer needs to be one of the following:
- a PC using either Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems
- an Apple Mac with an Intel processor and running Mac OS X 10.5 - with Java 6 installed
If you have an Apple Mac without Java 6 installed, you can download it from Apple's website. You must then install it and set it as default, using the Java Preferences program found in Applications>Utilities. If Java 6 is already installed you will need to make sure it is the default programme - the system default is Java 5 even if you have Java 6 installed.
Disclaimer – please read before downloading the PDV.
HMRC cannot accept responsibility for any economic losses, damage and/or loss to your data or computer systems that may occur as a result of installing and using the PDV application.
The security of the data held in the PDV is the responsibility of the customer.
Download the PDV here
Follow the links below to download the PDV application to suit your computer/operating system. If you’re using a broadband connection, it should take less than ten minutes. Slower connections may take considerably longer.
Installing the PDV on a computer running Windows
After downloading, double-click PDVinstall.exe and follow the on screen instructions to complete the installation.
Installing the PDV on a Mac running OS X 10.5
After downloading, double-click PDVinstall.
Installing the PDV on a computer running Linux
After downloading, open a shell and cd to the directory where you downloaded the installer.
At the prompt type: sh ./PDVinstall.bin and follow the installer instructions.
If you selected the default link off your desktop when installing, you can run the application by double-clicking on the icon on your desktop. Otherwise go to the directory where you created a link, or to the directory where you installed the application, and run the shell script called: PAYE_Desktop_Viewer
If you do not have a Java virtual machine installed, you may need to download one from Sun's Java website or contact your OS manufacturer.
Installing on multiple machines
If you have several payroll staff who need to access the information, you can install the PDV on each computer being used for payroll purposes. You can find out more about multiple users and roles in the section ‘Setting up and using the PDV’.
If you intend to install the PDV on more than one machine in your organisation, you must decide who will be the main user - we call that role the Administrator role. Only one Administrator role is allowed in any organisation. To help you decide there is more information in the section below called PDV user roles.
If you intend to install on only one machine that machine must be set up with the Administrator role.
When you use the PDV for the first time, you are presented with the ‘Welcome’ page that guides you to the ‘Application settings’ page. There you can set:
- Accessibility settings – allowing you to control colours and font sizes used throughout the application
- Application password – this is not mandatory, but it is worth remembering that the security of the data held in the PDV is your responsibility
- Printing settings – allows you to control the way in which multiple notices are printed
- Proxy settings – if your computer uses a proxy to connect to the Internet, enter the details here - your IT helpdesk should be able to help
You can view or change the above settings at any time via the link on the left hand navigation menu.
Using the PDV on multiple machines
You can install the PDV on as many computers as you wish – this is useful if you have several payroll staff that need access to the downloaded payroll information. While there can only ever be one administrator there is no limit on the number of sub administrators you set up.
Whether you are an employer or an agent there are two key PDV roles – Administrator and Sub-administrator.
Administrator – Only the administrator can download notices and PAYE codes. To do so the administrator uses their Government Gateway User ID and Password to log onto HMRC and enters their Employer PAYE Reference (Agents do not have to do this). They can then download all of the notices and PAYE codes for that reference and can use the ‘Export’ function to create a file of selected codes or notices that they can send to a ‘sub-administrator’. The administrator can then ‘import’ them back once the sub-administrator has dealt with them.
Sub-administrator – Sub-administrators can only work the codes and notices that have been sent to them by an administrator. They cannot log on and download codes and notices from HMRC.
Changes in user roles – Once your computer has PDV installed you cannot change its user role from Administrator to Sub-administrator or vice versa without first uninstalling then downloading and re-installing the PDV application. When you reinstall the application you can designate the new user role. You should always do this from the HMRC website to ensure you have the latest version of the application.
You may need to do this, for example, if your administrator leaves your organisation.
The security of the data downloaded into the PDV database is your responsibility.
The backup/restore functions within the application will help you to carry out routine backups and archives of the database.
If you have trouble installing the PDV and your computer is part of an office network, this could be due to restrictions put in place by your IT provider. Contact your IT helpdesk for advice.
If your installation problems continue or you have problems while using the PDV, contact the Online Services Helpdesk as follows:
- email email@example.com
- Tel 0845 60 55 999
- Fax 0845 366 7828
- Minicom 0845 366 7805
If you’re running MS Windows, you can uninstall the application by:
- selecting Start > All Programs > PAYE Desktop Viewer > Uninstall
- using the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ option within the ‘Control Panel’
If you’re using a Mac or a PC running Linux:
- go to the folder where you installed PDV
- open the sub-folder called ‘Uninstall PAYE Desktop Viewer’
- run the program with the same name
Important: Uninstalling only removes the application and does not delete the data files you downloaded and saved whilst using PDV. These files include the PDV database and any associated files you created to store the information – remembering that the security of this data is your responsibility.
You must delete these files manually if you want to remove them. You’ll find the data files in a folder on your computer called ‘.hmrc’. This folder may be ‘hidden’ depending on how your computer has been set up. If you can’t find this folder, contact your IT helpdesk.