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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Employment maintenance: create employment: P46 overview

The purpose of form P46 is to enable an employer who is not within RTI to tell the Processing Office about a new employee and to authorise the employer to operate a limited range of codes based on the Statement ticked on the form by the employee.

If the employer is in RTI this starter information is included in their Full Payment Submission (FPS). See PAYE63030.

Non RTI employers are required by law to send a form P46 to their Processing Office when an employee starts in their employment without P45 Parts 2 and 3. This includes employees whose previous employer was in RTI. The Employer Annual Pack and Help Books, tell them when and how to complete the form.

Some employees choose to withhold the form P45 from the employer because they do not wish their new employers to know about a previous employment. A non RTI employer will send in a form P46 in these circumstances.

Processing Offices are responsible for keeping individuals employment records up to date so that the PAYE system can operate effectively.

The main notification of a new employment starter is by form P46, but the employer may also write to you. However when notification is provided, it is important that the information is given prompt attention so should an individual contact us to review their code a correct cumulative code can be issued as quickly as possible. Failure to do this means that the individual may pay more tax than necessary which may cause financial hardship. This can lead to Customer Service complaints.

If you work on Employment Maintenance you need to

  • Be proactive in maintaining good relationships with employers, particularly those who deal with Employment Agencies. The Employment Maintenance processes will work more effectively where the agency can be encouraged to send in forms P46 only when the employee has been paid instead of at the time the person registers for work. For more information about Employment Agencies see PAYE65000 onwards
  • Refer details of employers who persistently fail to comply with their obligations to the Manager who should forward the details to the Employer Compliance Team to consider for compliance reviews

Offices should consider organising their Employment Maintenance teams in such a way as to be able to carry out business by telephone successfully with minimum disruption to the employer.