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Your new employee does not give you form P45 - Frequently Asked Questions about completing form P46

Need more help?

If you have any other questions about starting the tax year which have not been covered you can get more help by calling the Employer Helpline on 0845 7 143 143, or you can send an email and we will reply within 2 working days.

Q. How do I send a P46 online?

A. From 6 April 2009 if you have 50 or more employees you must send this form to us online.

You can send us form P46 online using commercial software or our free Online Return and Forms - PAYE product which is part of our PAYE for Employers service. Or you can get an agent or payroll bureau to do it online for you

You will find all the information you need on our online filing pages.

Q. My new employee hasn't given me a P45 what do I do?

A. If a new employee does not have a P45 you and your employee will need to complete a form P46 (PDF 177K). The P46 is the form to tell HMRC about an employee who does not have a P45.

You should send the completed form P46 to your PAYE tax office on the first pay day. However if the employee has ticked either box A or B you do not need to send the form until their earnings reach the lower earning limit. Please note, from 6 April 2009 it is mandatory for your employee's date of birth and gender to be completed on the form. You will find more information about completing form P46 in Helpbook E13 Day to day Payroll - Taking on a new employee.

You can send form P46 to us online using the Internet. You will find all the information you need on our online filing pages.

Q. I need to send HMRC a P46 but the employment start date and the date of the first payment do not always coincide - what do I need to do?

A. Send the P46 showing the employment start date when the first payment is made to the employee.

Q. I received a P6 notice of coding for a new employee before the P46 has been sent. Do I still need to send it?

A. Yes. If exceptionally you receive a P6 coding notice before the P46 has been sent, (perhaps because your employee has contacted the tax office before it has filtered through your payroll) you must still send it to us and complete the 'tax code used' field on it with the code from the P6.

Q. How do I know what tax code to use?

A. The table below shows the tax code to use for tax year 2009-10 depending on:

  • the box the employee ticks on form P46
  • the date of their first pay day with you

On the form P46

Tax code to use

Box A completed 647L on a cumulative basis
Box B completed 647L on a week 1/month 1 basis
Box C completed BR code on a cumulative basis
No box completed BR code on a cumulative basis

You will find more information about completing form P46 in Helpbook E13 Day to day Payroll - Taking on a new employee

Q. If a new employee ticks statement D on the P46, do I need to collect Student Loan deductions immediately?

A. Yes. You should apply student loan deductions on the first pay day if the earnings are high enough. The Student Loan Deduction Tables SL3 (PDF 33K) will help you work out how much to deduct or you can use the Student Loan Deductions Calculator on the Employer CD-ROM.

Q. I have already sent in a P46 for a new employee and received a P6, but now the employee has given me a P45 Part 3 - can I destroy it?

A. You should check the P45 Part 3 for any relevant student loan information and if the student loan indicator is shown, commence repayments, if you haven't already done so or received notification from your HMRC office to stop. You can then destroy the P45 Part 3. Do NOT include the pay and tax figures shown on the P45 Part 3 in your tax calculations. Operate the code number shown on the P6 coding notification together with any pay and tax that have been included on that form.

Q. I sent a P46 for someone I thought would start an employment with me but didn't, what should I do to avoid this scenario arising again?

A. You should only send a P46 when making the first payment to the employee even if the first payment is not made until some months after the start date. The P46 should show the 'start' date not the date the first payment is made.

Q. My new employee hasn't completed the P46 I gave them, what do I do?

A. From 6 April 2008 if your new employee does not give you a completed form P46 before the first payday you must complete Section one on their behalf and deduct tax using a cumulative BR tax code. You must send this P46 to HMRC of your employees first pay day.

Q. Can I accept P46 information from my employee electronically?

A. It is up to you to obtain the information in a way that best suits your business need. The information may be obtained from the employee either online or by using your own stationery as long as you keep a record of where the information came from.

The P46 must still be filed in accordance with current procedure as shown in Helpbook E13 Day to day Payroll - Taking on a new employee.