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 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 receive a wide range of 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:
- P46 (Car)
HMRC can also send you various notices and reminders online, saving you and your client’s time.
Forms and returns that can’t be sent online
There are a number of forms and returns that you can’t file 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:
- undertake subcontractor verification for your client
- file your clients’ CIS returns for them each month
How to register for PAYE for Agents
To use the PAYE for Agents online service you need to:
- have an agent code
- be signed up for HMRC Online Services
- set up agent authorisations for each of your clients
How to get an agent code
You’ll need to register online as an agent for PAYE if you haven’t already done so. You’ll need to provide:
- your business name - or your own name
- a contact name
- your address and postcode
- your telephone and fax numbers
- your email address
You’ll receive a ‘PAYE for employers’ agent code (known as an agent reference) which you’ll need before you can set up the PAYE for Agents service. You also need this reference to set up CIS client authorisations.
Complete and submit the online form, then stay online until your agent reference appears on screen.
You’ll have to wait for up to 4 days after receiving your agent reference before you can register for the PAYE for Agents service. This is to allow time for your details to be uploaded onto the HMRC system.
If you lose your agent reference, you should contact the Online Services Helpdesk.
If you’re not registered for HMRC Online Services
You’ll need to sign up to 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:
- Log in to HMRC Online Services.
- Go to ‘Your HMRC services’.
- 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 receive information on PAYE from HMRC on behalf of your clients, you’ll need to be authorised.
You can get agent authorisation online for the PAYE for Agents service by:
- Logging in to HMRC Online Services.
- On the ‘Your HMRC services’ page, select ‘PAYE for Agents’.
- 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 submit your payroll information to HMRC using a Full Payment Submission. You should do this on, or before the day, your clients pay their employees.
Your payroll software will generate the new reports you need and submit 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 still submit reports online but they’ll be sent directly to HMRC 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
Updated: 16 December 2015
- 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.
- First published.