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HMRC internal manual

PAYE Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Employment maintenance: create employment: P46 employer responsibilities

When an employee starts in employment the employer must ask the employee for Parts 2 and 3 of form P45 given to them by any previous employer (or by the Department for Work and Pensions Office if the employee was previously unemployed and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance).

An employee may not give a form P45 to a new employer because

  • The last employer failed to give them the form
  • It has been lost
  • The employee was previously self-employed or at school or college
  • The employee does not want the new employer to know what the previous employer paid or the code operated


  • For some other reason

If the employee fails to provide the P45, the employer is required

  • To notify the responsible Processing Office of the start of the employment using form P46


  • The employer is in RTI in which case they will submit commencement information on their Full Payment Submission (FPS)
  • The employee earns below the taxable limit and states that this is their only or main employment

In these circumstances the employer must keep the form P46 or equivalent record of an employee’s starter declaration for three tax years for audit purposes.

Existing employees of a non RTI employer whose pay rises above the taxable limit are not given a new form P46 to sign. The employer sends in the original P46 completed when the employee started and uses the code appropriate to the statement signed.