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 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 cannot be sent online

The following forms and returns cannot 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.

You must only apply for an agent code if your business operates as an accountancy service provider and is registered with a supervisory authority for anti-money laundering purposes, or has applied to HMRC for supervision.

Register as an agent for PAYE

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

If you do not have a Government Gateway user ID

You’ll need to create a Government Gateway user ID and password and add the service to your account.

If you already have a Government Gateway user ID

You can add PAYE for Agents to your services:

  1. Sign in using your Government Gateway user ID and password.
  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.

To get authorised by an employer client:

  1. Sign in using your Government Gateway user ID and password.
  2. On the ‘Your HMRC services’ page, select ‘Authorise client’.
  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.

When your payroll software sends your reports, you’ll need your Government Gateway user ID and password associated with PAYE for agents to see them.

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 6 July 2020 + show all updates
  1. The 'How to get an agent code' section has been updated.

  2. Section How to get an agent code has been updated. This amendment is to add guidance and a link to the online service to register as an agent for PAYE.

  3. The section 'How to get an agent code' has been updated.

  4. 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.

  5. First published.