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PAYE Starter Checklist

Employers with new workers on their staff need various documents to get them on payrolls.

Employers with new workers on their staff need various documents to get them on payrolls. Employees have to provide various details to enable employers to place them in the correct tax codes and declare them to the HMRC. 

The PAYE starter checklist is one of the forms that employees need to submit. It is tailored for workers who start with a new employer but don’t have a P45. 

In 2023, the starter checklist for PAYE replaced the P46. 

New employees without a P45 have to fill this form to join the payroll. This simple guide highlights some of the fundamentals of taking on a new employee.

What is an HMRC PAYE starter checklist?

What does PAYE Stand?

PAYE stands for ‘Pay As You Earn

An employee uses a starter checklist to collect information about a new hire. The details in this form help the employer complete the Full Payment Submission (FPS)

Employees should fill starter checklists and submit them before the first payday to give the company time to inform the HMRC and assign them the correct tax code. 

The Government website has a online PAYE starter checklist is available, but you can also print it and fill it manually.

Is the PAYE starter checklist a P46?

Although some employers might still refer to the starter checklist as a P46 when asking for employee details, it is not. The checklist replaced the P46 that is no longer in use.

What details do you need for PAYE?

You have to provide your date of birth, complete address, gender and the start date of your new job for PAYE. The employee P45 form requires you to fill in the following details:

PAYE Starter Checklist

Full name

Full name details

Tax year

Total pay and updated tax payment for the current tax year

Last Job

Leaving date from the last job

National Insurance

National insurance number

Student Loan

Student loan deduction status

Tax Code

Existing tax code

This information stays on the payroll records for the following 3 tax years.

Do you need a P45 if you have a starter checklist?

A P45 is mandatory when changing jobs. The form ensures that you are in the correct tax code. Without it, an employer can use an emergency tax code, meaning that you could end up paying more than you should. 

However, if you don’t have a recent P45, then a PAYE checklist will do. So, you can submit one or the other. Note that an employer should provide a new employee with a starter checklist if a P45 is not present. 

If you don’t receive the checklist, though, print one out, fill it and submit it as necessary.

Completing the PAYE Starter Checklist

A common tax problem among employed individuals is the failure to provide accurate information to employers. Therefore, you should be careful when filling your starter checklist. The form has three statements, A, B and C, that employees should choose between to define their employment status. Picking the wrong statement could put you in the wrong tax code, leading to a miscalculation of the tax due.

So, take the time to analyse each of the options thoroughly to make sure you tick the one that applies to you. If you select a statement incorrectly and end up with a tax bill, then there isn’t much of a solution, except to work out a payment plan with HMRC. However, if you completed the starter checklist properly, but your employer still placed you in the wrong tax code, then that counts as ‘employer error,’ and you might not be liable for the unpaid tax. The HMRC offers tools that employers can use to identify workers’ tax codes. You can keep a copy of the checklist or note your answers for reference in case an issue comes up.

After completing the PAYE starter checklist, workers must submit it to the employer, who forwards it to the payroll department. Completed checklists should not be sent to HMRC.

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