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PAYE and Class 1 National Insurance contributions - current year reference checker

When you pay PAYE, Class 1 National Insurance contributions, or Construction Industry Scheme and Student Loan deductions you need to give your PAYE Accounts Office reference number. Your Accounts Office reference is 13 characters long, for example 123PA00045678. You can find this on:

  • your 'At a glance' page if you are registered for the PAYE for employers online service
  • the 'New employer registration and reference numbers' letter that HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) sends you when you first registered as an employer
  • your payment booklet, if you still receive one
  • the letter HMRC sends in place of a booklet

If you pay early, late or make more than one payment for the same month, or you are making a balancing payment for a previous tax year, you need to add four numbers to the end of your Accounts Office reference. This tells HMRC what tax year and month your payment is for. Your reference then becomes 17 characters long with no spaces between. From the 2013-14 tax year you should make balancing payments for a previous tax year using month 12 not month 13.

This checker only confirms that the characters are in the right format to allow your payment to go direct to your account. It will also add the extra four numbers to your reference number if needed.

Step 1 - Enter your PAYE Accounts Office reference number

Step 2 - Paying in the current tax year

Step 3 - Paying early for the next tax year

Step 4 - Check your Accounts Office reference number format

Press the 'Check reference' button to check the format of your Accounts Office reference. If you need to start again, press on the 'Clear' button.


Please use the reference number in the format shown, with no spaces. If you do not, your payment will take longer to reach your account.

Return reference checker start page

How to pay PAYE/Class 1 National Insurance

Deadlines for PAYE/National Insurance contributions payments