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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

Employer returns: employer starter and leaver forms: employer e-file in-year penalties: ECS penalty reference numbers

ECS penalty reference numbers are automatically generated. Each reference number is made up as follows

  • The office number
  • EYI (to indicate that the penalty area is in-year online filing)
  • N (to indicate that the penalty is for failing to file in-year online)
  • E (for ECS)
  • The consecutive number. The maximum number of ECS penalty charges for any one office number in any one year of Account is 99,999 
  • The year of Account. This is the accounting year for the annual balance which ends on the last Friday in October each year. For example the year of Account ending in October 2010 will be shown as 10
  • Employer reference. This excludes the office numeral


073 EYI N E 123 10 E999

  • In Account 10
  • The 123rd penalty for office number 073
  • For the employer record with the employer reference E999