A week 53 arises in payroll when there is an extra payday in the tax year. It only applies to employees who are paid weekly (week 53), fortnightly (fortnight 27) or 4-weekly (4-weekly 14).
If an employer changes a payday during the year, or in the previous year, resulting in a ‘week 53’ payday, no additional tax credits or rate band are due. This also applies where a payment, including a notional payment, is made to an employee on 31 December (or 30/31 December in a leap year) and it is not the employee’s normal payday.
If a week 53 arises, PAYE Regulations state that the employer should use the latest Revenue Payroll Notification (RPN) to apply an extra pay period’s tax Credit and cut-off points and deduct Income Tax and Universal Social Charge (USC) on a Week 1 basis. If the emergency tax basis applies to an employee, then the employer must continue to apply the normal rules that apply to the calculation of income tax or USC on an emergency basis.
If a normal week 53 applies, your payroll software will automatically apply the rules, as outlined above. It is highly recommended that you always run a week 53 as a separate payroll run to any other payroll period, ensuring that a separate Payroll Submission Request (PSR) is submitted to Revenue with the correct payment day.
If the normal pay date falls on the 1st January and payment is made to the Employees on the 31st of December (as the 1st is a Bank Holiday) this is not a week 53 calculation, but the first pay period of the new tax year.