PAYE for Agents: HMRC Online Services for reporting PAYE and CIS

How to register and use the PAYE for Agents online service to report clients' PAYE for employers and Construction Industry Scheme information.


You can manage most of your clients’ employer Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) responsibilities by using the PAYE for Agents online service, part of HMRC Online Services.

By using the service you can file their returns and other forms online, as well as get notices and reminders.

You need to sign up for this whether you’re planning to use HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) free software or commercially available software to file your clients’ returns and forms.

PAYE and CIS online services for agents are combined in a single service - PAYE for Agents. Once you’ve signed up for PAYE for Agents, you’ll get access to the CIS service too.

Advantages of using the PAYE for Agents online service

You can use PAYE for Agents to send HMRC any of the following forms:

  • P11D
  • P11D(b)
  • P46 (Car)

HMRC can also send you notices and reminders online to save you and your client’s time.

Forms and returns that can’t be sent online

The following forms and returns can’t be filed online:

  • amended forms P11D or P11D(b)
  • more than 5 P11Ds without National Insurance numbers on them or 5% of your total submission if it includes more than 100 forms

Managing CIS through the service

You can use the service to:

  • carry out subcontractor verification for your client
  • file your clients’ CIS returns each month

How to register for the PAYE for Agents online service

To use the service, you need to:

  • have an agent code
  • be signed up for HMRC Online Services
  • set up agent authorisations for your clients

How to get an agent code

You must have an agent code to set up agent authorisation. To get a code, you need to register as an agent for PAYE in writing.

You’ll have to give the following information in your application:

  • full name
  • trading name (if different)
  • address that your activities are carried out from (this can’t be a PO Box address)
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • supervisor for the purposes of the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 - details of Professional Body membership or HMRC Anti Money Laundering Supervision registration number
  • Self Assessment or company Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) number
  • details of which taxes you plan to deal with (as you may need a separate agent code for each tax)

Your application will be rejected if:

  • you don’t give us this information
  • we aren’t satisfied with the information you’ve given us

We will tell you within 28 days if your application has been successful and send you a ‘PAYE for employers’ agent code (known as an agent reference) to set up your online service.

You also need this reference to set up CIS client authorisations.

Where to send your application

Send applications to:

Central Agent Maintainer Team
National Insurance Contributions and Employer Office
HM Revenue and Customs

If you’re not registered for HMRC Online Services

You’ll need to sign up as a new user and add the service to your account.

If you already have an HMRC Online Services account

You can add PAYE for Agents to your services:

  1. Log in to HMRC Online Services.
  2. Go to ‘Your HMRC services’.
  3. Add ‘PAYE for Agents’ to your portfolio from the ‘Services you can add’ section.

Getting agent authorisation through the PAYE for Agents service

Once you’ve signed up for PAYE for Agents, you can file forms on behalf of your clients immediately without authorisation, by acting as a ‘filing only’ agent.

If you want to verify subcontractors for CIS or get information on PAYE from us on behalf of your clients, you’ll need to be authorised.

You can get agent authorisation online for the PAYE for Agents service by:

  1. Logging in to HMRC Online Services.
  2. On the ‘Your HMRC services’ page, select ‘PAYE for Agents’.
  3. On the ‘Authorise client’ page, choose ‘Request an authorisation’ and follow the instructions.

Reporting PAYE in real time

You should report your clients’ payroll information in real time. You may see this called Real Time Information or ‘RTI’.

You’ll still operate PAYE in the same way but you must send your payroll information to us using a Full Payment Submission. You should do this on, or before the day your clients pay their employees.

Your payroll software will create the new reports you need and send the payroll information online. These will include details of:

  • the amount paid to employee(s)
  • deductions such as Income Tax and National Insurance contributions
  • starter and leaver dates (if applicable)

How to submit PAYE details in real time

Under RTI, you’ll still submit reports online but they’ll be sent directly to us using your payroll software or HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools.

You still need your PAYE for Agents login details (User ID and password) because although you can’t log in directly to PAYE for Agents service to report, you’ll need them when your payroll software sends your reports through the Government Gateway (which uses the same User ID and password).

When you run payroll, your software gathers the PAYE information based on the payroll entries you make. You can use any RTI-enabled commercial payroll software (there are some free packages available) or HMRC’s Basic PAYE Tools package which is designed for employers with 9 employees or less.

Published 1 January 2014
Last updated 11 July 2017 + show all updates
  1. The section 'How to get an agent code' has been updated.
  2. Agent online services guidance has been updated to improve style and layout of content. HMRC Online Services log in information also updated in this guide.
  3. First published.