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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer returns: employer return post capture: ECS - processing employer return details - up to 2004

Note: This subject provides details of how to process returns for tax years up to and including 2003-04. For tax years 2004-05 onwards refer to ‘Record receipt of employer return’ at PAYE41000 onwards and ‘Capture employer return - 2005 onwards’ at PAYE43000 onwards.

This subject is presented as follows


When receipt of the return has been recorded or the return captured on the Employer Business Service (EBS), certain information from the return is passed automatically to ECS. For example return receipt details and the monetary amounts captured from the return.

There may however be additional information from the return that must also be processed on ECS that is not picked up automatically from EBS.

Returns requiring ECS processing

The following displays the types of returns that require additional processing on ECS after they have been processed on EBS.

Forms P35/CIS36 or SC35 where the checklist/questions on the form have answers which do not match the ‘default’ answers in ECS
Change required to the ‘default’ answers automatically set in ECS

Additional forms P35 / CIS36 or SC35
Change required to the ECS ‘default’ setting from ‘Main’ to ‘Additional’

If P14s are included with the additional return for directors of limited companies the pay, tax and NIC details for each director must be processed

Forms P35 where the employer has indicated that completed returns of expenses payments and benefits (forms P11D) are not due
Record that P11Ds not due in order to prevent ECS from issuing P11D reminders to the employer

Form P38A or P38 (either enclosed with the form P35 or received separately)
Record the number of people and total pay shown on the form P38A (or P38)

Forms CIS36 where subcontractors have been employed
Record the number of subcontractors used during the year

Forms P35 that include forms P14 for directors of limited companies
Record total NIC details for each director.

If the P14 was included with a supplementary return the pay and tax details for each director

Where the director is not recognised on ECS you will need to update the directorship information for that employer

Managing End of Year processing

It is important that arrangements are put into place to ensure that

  • All returns are processed on EBS as a priority
  • You identify from those returns the ones that need to be subsequently processed on ECS
  • Those returns are actually recorded on ECS

Although all returns must be processed on EBS as a priority, not all returns need to be processed on ECS. The returns that require you to enter further details on ECS must be recorded on ECS after the return has been

  • Recorded as received on EBS using Function RECORD RETURN RECEIPT

And / Or

  • Captured on EBS using Function CAPTURE EOY RETURN DETAILS

Note: It is not as important that returns are processed on ECS as quickly as returns need to be processed on EBS. However, it is essential that a return that contains information that needs to be processed on ECS is not missed.