HMRC has produced a single page form P46 called 'P46 (Short)' which can be used by the majority of employers to gather information from new employees who don't have a form P45. Section 2 (employer information) has been removed.
The form is available to download on the HMRC website and can be filled in on-screen. If an employer wants to print out a copy of this form, a black and white version will be printed.
Pre-Real Time Information (RTI), paper copies of form P46 MUST NOT be sent to HMRC. Instead the form is submitted online. Therefore, since April 2009, employers have been allowed to gather the necessary P46 information by any means from a new employee who does not produce a form P45 before their first pay day. This can include employees completing a form P46, with the information contained on the form being kept for the employer's record purposes before being transmitted online to HMRC.
A Real Time Information employer will no longer be required to send online forms P46 to HMRC. Instead, the new starter information will be included on the first Full Payment Submission (FPS) an employer submits online to HMRC covering their first payment of the new employee's wages.
Under RTI, when any new employee starts, they should be asked to check which one of the following statements applies to them:
- A. This is their first job since last 6 April and they have not been receiving taxable Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, taxable Incapacity Benefit, state pension or occupational pension.
- B. This is their only job, but since last 6 April they have had another job, or have received taxable Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance or taxable Incapacity Benefit. They do not receive a state or occupational pension.
- C. They have another job or receive a state or occupational pension.
The employer should safely keep a record of their new employee's statement. When the employer submits its first FPS return covering the employee's first payment of wages, the employer will be required to give the employee's Start Date, as well as make an 'A', 'B', or 'C' Starting Declaration, as above. Where a new employee doesn't provide any information, as above, the letter to use in the Starting Declaration is 'C'.
On the first FPS, the employer is also required to provide employee identification information, including the employee's:
- full name
- date of birth
- full address (including postcode)
- National Insurance number (if the employee knows it)
In many cases, an employer will find this information on the new employee's P45 that they will have been given by their previous employer.
Where the employee does not produce a P45 before their first pay day, the above information needs to be gathered by some other means. A form P46 (whether it is the old 2-page version, or the new short one-page version, can be used for this purpose.