Payback Trouble Shooting

First check to make sure that you are running the most up to date version of Payback.

We have already solved many problems by releasing bug fixes and improvements. Please check that you are running the most up to date version of Payback as we may have already fixed the problem you are experiencing. If you are not running the most up to date version of Payback, please back up your data and follow these instructions:

Release notes can be found here:

By default Payback displays a warning whenever there is a critical release. If you would like to receive notification of all releases please follow these instructions:

In Admin>Options>Preferences tab there is a software update drop down.
Select 'All Updates' and then click the Update button at the top of the screen.

Importing a Digital Certificate.

Error: Cert is invalid or wrong password


Error: Run Time Error 53 appears.


Error: Payback Payroll ROS INJECTOR Payback XML document must have top level element.



Please could you make sure that you are running the most recent version of Payback:


PAYE Modernisation will not work on Windows XP*. You will have to either move to CloudPay or run it on a different computer (preferably one running windows 10)

If you are running Windows 7, or your version of Windows does not have Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 installed. please install this update:

Then restart your computer and try again.


Please could you also make sure that you Windows date and time is as described here?


If you have any anti-virus software or firewalls installed on your computer, temporarily disable them and see if this solves the problem.


Please stop all other processes to ensure that nothing else is conflicting with Payback. You can do this by restarting your computer and trying again, without running any other applications.


If after all of that you are still getting the same error, please could you either:

  • Use a different computer - preferably one running Windows 10
  • Use ROS reporting rather than direct reporting
  • Transfer to CloudPay - our browser based payroll software.


*Note for XP users: Revenue's new encryption algorthms rely on Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 or higher to be installed on your computer.

We have recently discovered that .NET Framework 4.0 is the last version to support Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.
This means this PAYE Modernisation will not work on Windows XP. You will have to either move to CloudPay or run it on a different computer (preferably one running windows 10)

Retrieving RPNs.

Error: The received message is expired.

Solution: Make sure that you are running the latest version of Payback:

If this does not solve the problem, ensure that your Windows System Clock is set to the correct date and time. This is important because Revenue insists on a timestamp as part of their authorisation procedure.

Error:  Cert does not have appropriate permissions.

Solution: If this is an Agent digital certificate (TAIN), please ensure that you are importing the certificate using the Bureau option. Instructions can be found here:

If you are not an agent, then there may be something wrong with your digital certificate. Please request another one from Revenue. The phone number for the National Employer's Helpline is Phone: 01 738 3638 or 1890 254 565

Payroll Submission.

Error: The "ROS Injector" screen seems stuck on the message "Status: Submission Polling".

Solution: Click on the button that says 'Show Details>>' at the bottom of the dialogue screen. Here you will see a text box with 'XML Received from server'. This contains the error message.


Retrieving RPNs.

Error:  Cert does not have appropriate permissions.

Solution: If this is an Agent digital certificate (TAIN), please ensure that you are importing the certificate using the Bureau option.

Error:  No active link between AgentTAIN and EmployerRegistrationNumber.

Solution: Updating Java appears to fix this problem

Revenue Server Down

From time to time, the Revenue server goes down. When this happens Payback is unable to communicate with it and one of the error messages shown opposite will appear. This can also happen if your computer loses its internet connection.
If you see this error, please restart your computer and try the process again.

Make sure that you can connect to the internet.

Technical Information

We have written an application called ROSXML.exe to handle the new encryption algorthms required by Revenue's digital certificates.
This application is installed in the Payback Application directory, typically here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\payback\ROSXML.exe

This application is called by Payback and writes files to the database folder, typically called:


An example file would be


(Files ending in _HSR.xml are Hand Shake Request files, to check if the Digital Certificate works and the user can connect to the Revenue Server)
For some files, they are deleted by Payback once they have been used.
The 'File Signing delay: 3 Seconds' means that the file is deleted after three seconds. Rarely should the process take more than three seconds.

In summary, ROSXML.exe should be able to read and write files to the xml_archive folder and Paybackie.exe should be able to read, write and delete to the  xml_archive folder. If any third party application prevent this, then you will see 'There was a problem connecting to the Revenue Server. Click Fix Problem' below to find the solution' and 'File not found' error messages. If you open the xml_archive folder, and run the handshake check in Payback, you may be able to see the file being written.

Two things to check are:

  • Anti-Virus software preventing this from working, by deleting files or stopping them from being written.
  • Security settings  preventing this from working.

If you notice that sometimes the RPNs will appear after you close the error message about been unable to retrieve the rpns, and when the rpns do appear and a submit is done a 'File Not Found' error message appears, then another process may be delaying the file creation process. Please try the following:

In the Digital Cert screen, click the 'Check' button. The PMOD Troubleshooter dialogue has a 'Settings' tab. Click this and increase the 'File Signing Interval' to 5 seconds to see if this works. If the same problem occurs, try 10 Seconds.
Note that changing this value will slow down PMOD Direct Reporting and Ideally the reason why the process is delayed in the first place should be investigated.


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