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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer records: maintain employer record: re-opening an employer record

It is possible to reopen an employer record which was previously cancelled.

From 6 April 2011 an employer record can only be reopened in the year the record was originally cancelled or in the following year.

This can happen when

  • A business has now started to trade
  • A record was cancelled in error
  • A business now has employees liable to Income Tax and / or National Insurance

When an employer record is re-opened, the computer will automatically remove the previous cancellation date.

You must consider the following

  • Employer indicators. For example forms P35 will automatically be issued for all open years where the employer is not operating PAYE in real time. When these are not required the NOP35 / NOP35REM indicators should be set
  • CIS monthly returns and penalties. From year 2008 onwards, CIS will issue monthly returns and penalties for all years which you re-open. To prevent this you must contact CIS prior to re-opening the record

Manual re-opening of an RTI employer record

In some cases you may need to manually re-open an employer record. Follow guidance at PAYE21206 to re-open a PAYE scheme that has previously been cancelled.

You must also remember to review ECS to ensure all indicators are set correctly and that ETMP is updated when re-opening an employer record on EBS. ECS will, for certain information, only get updated monthly. It is important that all systems are in line to avoid errors (mismatches) occurring.

Employer record reopened in error

A reopen date cannot be amended. If circumstances arise where a date was entered incorrectly, or the employer had no employees cancel the employer record. Follow action guide emp40010.

Note: You cannot reopen a ceased scheme. For more information about ceased schemes see ‘Re-starting an employer record’ at PAYE21215.