3. Get employee information

You need to get certain information from your employee so you can set them up with the correct tax code and starter declaration on your payroll software.

You’ll usually get most of this information from the employee’s P45, but they’ll have to fill in a ‘starter checklist’ (which replaced the P46 form) if they don’t have a recent P45.

You’ll need your employee’s:

  • date of birth
  • gender
  • full address
  • start date

From your employee’s P45, you’ll need their:

  • full name
  • leaving date from their last job
  • total pay and tax paid to date for the current tax year
  • student loan deduction status
  • National Insurance number
  • existing tax code

You must keep this information in your payroll records for the current year and the 3 following tax years.

If your employee doesn’t have a P45

Ask your employee for this information if you don’t have their P45, or if they left their last job before 6 April 2016.

The P46 form is no longer used.

Get the information by asking your new employee to complete HMRC’s new starter checklist. They’ll need to save it on their computer and open and complete it in Adobe Reader version 9.0 or later.

If your employee has more than one P45

You should use the P45 with the latest date and give the other one back to the employee.

If they have the same leaving date use the P45 with the highest tax free allowance (or least additional pay for a K code) and give the other one back to the employee.

Work out your employee’s tax code

Use the information to work out their tax code and starter declaration. You need these to set them up on your payroll software and register them with HMRC.

There’s a different way to work out tax codes for employees seconded from abroad or who you only pay once.