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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer returns: employer return - quality checks: opening employer return

A Processing Office may receive a return or return part in any of the following ways

  • By post

    • In the specific envelope AZ Env 7 (R)(P)(F), this should be passed to you unopened


    • In any other type of envelope passed from another section
  • By hand from an HMRC Enquiry Centre
  • From another Processing Office
  • From the Debt Management Office

All returns must be opened on the day of receipt and the following actions taken

  • Date stamp the return with the date it was received. For more information see subject ‘Date stamping employer returns’ PAYE40040 
  • If a change of address is noted on the front of the return use Function AMEND EMPLOYER SUMMARY to change the address
  • Quality standard checks must be made immediately on all return forms and the employer / contractor notified promptly if the return or its enclosures are not acceptable. For more information see subjects ‘Checks prior to recording receipt of a return’ PAYE40015 and ‘Correction of failed returns’ PAYE40035 
  • The receipt of all returns which pass the quality standard checks must be recorded as received with the date it was received
  • Any payment received with the return is identified and immediately processed. For more information see subject ‘Payments received in processing offices’ PAYE50015 

The majority of returns you receive will have the correct enclosures and the receipt should be recorded, however some returns will be incomplete or will include attachments which require you to take other action. These could include

  • Payslips and / or payments
  • Correspondence relating to the return or some other aspect of the employer record