Debugging the installation of my HMRC PAYE software wasn’t something I planned for my Saturday evening. But with the first payment of the new tax year due next week I thought I’d make a quick submission to get it out of the way before the bank holiday. But the transition to the new year didn’t go as smoothly as it could have.

The PC I use for administration of my PAYE software is running a 64 bit Trisquel Linux OS. On running the software it advised me to upgrade. However, after the upgrade, the software failed to open. Fortunately I had a backup, so I wasn’t overly worried. But I’d rather get it running again than attempt to restore it from a backup on another machine or OS.

Running the software from the command line produced a long list of django python errors, culminating in:

File "/home/teamcity/BuildAgent/work/92574102faf30229/src-copy/django/db/backends/sqlite3/", line 35, in
django.core.exceptions.ImproperlyConfigured: Error loading either pysqlite2 or sqlite3 modules (tried in that order): cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

It seems that this upgrade of the HMRC software was now relying on a new library. I tried a number of library installations, but nothing seemed to satisfy the program. Then I vaguely recalled having to install some 32 bit library files to get it running initially. So with a little guesswork I was able to identify the missing library and install it:

sudo apt-get install libsqlite3-0:i386

If you use a 64 bit Linux to do your PAYE with HMRC software, and you’re getting a failure after upgrading, maybe the above will do the trick for you too.


5 responses to “Fixing PAYE”

  1. François Guerraz Avatar
    François Guerraz


    Just in case it helps, I have created an AUR package that does all the things…

  2. Thank you very much for this. It worked a treat. Nice bit of sleuthing>

  3. Cliff McCartney Avatar
    Cliff McCartney

    Thanks from me too.

  4. Anthony Hepple Avatar
    Anthony Hepple

    Many thanks for posting this solution Paul, the failure after update caught me out too. Not that I was too surprised, it’s been a bumpy ride using the Basic PAYE Tools on Linux.

    I don’t like to benefit from my own tardiness but I’m mighty grateful you’re on top of your payroll!

    I’ll email HMRC, in case they need to update their guide.

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