HMRC’s new P46 (Short) form. What is it?

Bevan & Buckland logoTina Davies, Bevan & Buckland’s Payroll Bureau Manager informs us that the HMRC has produced a single page form P46 called ‘P46 (Short)’.
The form P46 or P46 (Short) 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.

At present employers are required to send online forms P46 to HMRC. After RTI 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.

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
  • gender
  • 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.

Tina Davies
MCIPP(dip) Member Chartered Institute of Payroll Professionals 

Tina Davies is manager of Bevan & Buckland’s Swansea Payroll Department, we also operate a payroll bureau service from the firm’s Pembroke and Haverfordwest offices. Tel: 01792 410117

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Swansea Tel: 01792 410100

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Haverfordwest Tel: 01437 760666

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Pembroke Tel: 01646 682383

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Carmarthen Tel: 01267 233115

Bevan & Buckland Accountants St David’s Tel: 01437 720352


6 Responses to HMRC’s new P46 (Short) form. What is it?

  1. Hazel Edwards says:

    I am somewhat confused at the introduction of this form at this point in time. Surely it serves exactly the same purpose as the current P46? The ‘short’ version does not include space for an employee signature and seems to be geared up for RTI ready employers only. Am I missing the point?

    • Hi Hazel
      Thanks for your question.
      Basically they have reduced it to one page by removing the employer information as it has to be sent on line removing the need for a signature, so the printed document is only for employer use. Therefore there is no need to put the employer information on the form and yes they have shortened it in preparation of RTI.
      It does serve the same purpose but moving forward there will be no need to print this document.

  2. Lisa Keen says:

    I agree with Hazel, by having a signature the employee is declaring that this information is from him. With no signature and should there be a dispute over the tax code operated, he could, in theory, say this information did not come from him. Also why the two different Student Loan boxes. On the HMRC site it states (you do not need to know about student loans being repaid by agreement with the UK Student Loans Company by monthly direct from a bank or building society account). So why is it on the form?

    • Hi Lisa
      The signature is no longer required on the P46 due to the fact that with electronic submission the HMRC no longer see the form, we have incorporated the P46 short into the starter form which they sign therefore the information that the employee provides for the purpose of which Tax code to use has a signature of proof.

      The reason for the 2 boxes re student loan repayments is for the HMRC to know the repayment method of any employee with outstanding Student Loans and who to contact if there are any problems or disputes with the repayments.

  3. paul says:

    Hello, i m Paul and since april i have been self employed,and now employee.I need to fill up the P46 short form,what i have to choose A,B OR C (tik) .Thank you very much

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