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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Employer records: maintain employer record: notification of a deceased employer


You may be notified that an employer or contractor has died. This may be in the form of an entry on the ‘Employer Deceased’ work list if Debt Management & Banking (DMB) have been notified that a sole trader has died. Alternatively, you may be notified direct if a representative for the deceased person contacts you.

The employer record may continue when the deceased person was

  • A director of a limited company
  • A partner in a business

In the event that the deceased person was a sole trader the employer record is to be ceased.

Office Responsibilities

On receipt of the information that the employer has died the PAYE Employer Office is responsible for the following

  • The cessation of the employer record. See EO SPD 1 and / or EO SPD 2
  • Setting the DECEASED indicator on the employer record. See subject ‘Employer indicators’ PAYE21075 


1. When you set the DECEASED Indicator you must enter a ‘Date Notified’, which is the date you where notified that the employer died, and if known the ‘Date of Death’.
2. It is important to update the Employer Name to include ‘Personal Representative of ………..’ after setting the DECEASED indicator
  * Notifying the appropriate Self Assessment section of the change in circumstances
  * Ensuring a correspondence name and address is held on the employer record. See Action Guide ’Maintain payroll and correspondence details’ PAYE21176. This could be the name and address of
  * The personal representative
  * The executor or administrator
  * A nominated agent

Debt Management Office Responsibilities

On receiving notification that an employer (who was a sole trader) has died the Debt Management Office is responsible for the following

  • Issuing and collecting any outstanding forms P35 / SC35 or CIS36
  • Determining the amount of any Tax / NIC unpaid and its collection from the personal representative