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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Employer records: set up employer record: addresses

This subject consists of the following

Types of address

There are a number of addresses that are connected to an employer or contractor. It is important you understand what addresses can be held on an employer record and which of these will have post sent to them.

Business address

This is the address where the premises of any business for which a trade has been set up. This address is held on the employer record.

This will also be the address to which all correspondence will be sent unless the employer elects for a different address (see Payroll / Correspondence Address below).

Payroll / Correspondence address

The address of a person or body who normally will have responsibility for operating PAYE on behalf of the employer. For example payroll agent or agent.

This address is held on the employer record unless the business address is this address ‘also’ in which case only one address is shown. All correspondence will be sent to this address.

Agent address

The address of the person acting in a representative role, for example an accountant. The agent’s details should be noted for information purposes in the Notes field, using Function AMEND EMPLOYER NOTES.

Note: The agent indicator for purposes of EBS is only set where that agent receives all correspondence and their details would be entered in the payroll / correspondence fields. When the Agent indicator is present the Employer Pack check box will be unchecked. This is to reduce the number of unwanted Employer Packs being sent to agents.

Email address

This is a unique address consisting of a user and domain name that allows information to be directed to that address electronically. For example by computer. This address can be held on the employer record.

Registered Office address

This is an address at which a limited company or plc is registered.

Entering an address on an employer record

A business address or payroll correspondence address can only be entered (or amended) by using Function ADDRESS SEARCH. This function is accessed using a [Search] button from either

  • Function EMPLOYER SET UP - when setting up an employer record, or
  • Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY - when maintaining an employer record

The purpose of Function ADDRESS SEARCH is

  • To trace and store an address found on the Address Framework that has been verified from a copy of a database of UK addresses from the Post Office known as the Post Office Address File (or ‘PAF’)

*And *where no match can be made or the address to be held is abroad

  • To enter an address manually

The word or status ‘Verified’ will identify an address that has been traced and stored on an employer record. Addresses that have not been matched and entered manually will be indicated by the status ‘As Input’. Further information on verified addresses and the updating of addresses can be found at PAYE21160.

Note: A PO Box number is unacceptable unless it forms part of a full address including a postcode which can be validated by the Post Office address file.

Additional delivery information

There may be occasions when a payroll correspondence address or business address that has been matched with an address on the Post Office Address File (PAF) and stored on an employer record does not complete the full postal address. If this arises there is a field on Functions EMPLOYER SET UP and AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY that allows you to enter additional delivery information which will be included on any correspondence sent to the employer as an aid to assist delivery of post to the correct destination within that address. Additional delivery information can only be added when the address status is ‘Verified’.

Examples of additional delivery information could be

  • A room or flat number
  • A wing of a building

Note: An entry in the Additional Delivery Information field must only be made where the verified address does not contain this information.

Foreign addresses

Foreign addresses can be held on an employer record. Where this arises you will need to set the abroad indicator. Addresses that are abroad are not held on the Post Office Address File (PAF) and must therefore be entered manually. If you are wishing to note an address as being abroad you must ensure

  • A tick is entered in the Abroad checkbox
  • An entry is made in each of the first three lines of the Address Details box


  • No entries are made in the fourth and fifth lines of the Address Details box
  • The foreign country is entered in the foreign country field (Note: You may need to enter the foreign country in the third line of the address field and in the foreign country field)

Entering an address in this way will ensure that any output automatically produced will replicate the entries you had made, and possibly avoid post being returned as undelivered due to the address not being displayed correctly.

Abroad indicator

Where you enter an address which is abroad, you must set the Abroad indicator against that address. When correspondence is issued by the computer to that address, the indicator, or signal, identifies the need to separate that item from mail to be issued at the UK second class rate. The Abroad indicator can only be set or removed from the employer record using Function ADDRESS SEARCH. You must also ensure the rules mentioned in ‘Long address’ within this subject are followed.

Long address

There may be occasions when you have not been able to match an address using Function ADDRESS SEARCH and will have to enter that address manually. If the employer’s address is too long to be held in full on the employer record, you will have to abbreviate that address. That abbreviation will appear on printed output. There is no provision to issue correspondence manually using the full, unabbreviated, form of the address.

You should ensure that the employer has agreed to the abbreviated address prior to entering that address on the employer record and suggest they notify the Post Office of the abbreviation in order that this address is held on the Post Office Address File (PAF) database. You should also consider making a note of the full address and the date of the agreed abbreviation in EMPLOYER NOTES.

As a general rule any manually entered address must consist of NO MORE than the following

  • Three lines consisting of a maximum 28 characters
  • A fourth line consisting of a maximum 18 characters
  • The postcode

Note: Where an address is longer than four lines of address the town name should always be used in preference to the county name.