P46 guide for UK employers – common questions answered & replacement explained

Last checked and updated on 24 June 2022

If you’re an employer in the UK, you’ll need to know about P46 forms.

Here, we answer some of the most common questions about these forms – what they are, when they’re needed, and what information they contain.

We’ll also explain Starter Checklists, the newer replacement.

Important note
Since April 2013: The new Starter Checklist has replaced the P46 form. After April 2013, employers have been required to use the checklist when onboarding new employees.

What is the difference between the P46 and the new Starter Checklist?

The main difference is that the P46 form was only used for new employees who didn’t have a P45 – i.e. those starting their first job or returning to work after a long break. The new Starter Checklist can be used for all new employees, regardless of whether they have a P45 or not.

What does the newer Starter Checklist contain?

The Starter Checklist contains the following information:

  • The employee’s first name, last name and date of birth
  • Their home address
  • Their National Insurance number
  • Their gender
  • Their employment status
  • The start date of their employment
  • Student loan information
  • Any other information that’s relevant to their tax code

What is a P46?

This was a form that was used to record an employee’s personal and tax details. It is completed by the employer and sent to HMRC (the UK’s tax authority). It was used when no P45 was available. This ensured that the employee was correctly taxed from the first day of their employment.

When should a P46 be completed?

Note that the new Starter Checklist has replaced the P46, so a Starter Checklist should be completed instead. However, a P46 was completed when an employee started work with a new employer, and no P45 was available. This can happen if the employee has just started their first job, or if they have lost their P45.

What information does a P46 contain?

It contains the employee’s personal details (including their name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number), as well as their tax code. It also includes information on the amount of PAYE tax that the employee has paid in the current tax year.

P45 vs P46 – what’s the difference?

These are both forms that are used to record an employee’s personal and tax details. The main difference between them is that P45s are issued by an employer when an employee leaves their job, while P46s are completed by a new employer and sent to HMRC when an employee starts work with the new employer.

FAQ

What to do with a P46?

Before April 2013, a completed form should have been sent to HMRC. The employee was then issued with a PAYE coding notice, which gave their tax code for the current tax year. But since April 2013, a Starter Checklist should be submitted instead.

How to get a P46?

These forms were available from HMRC or your local tax office. They could also be downloaded from the HMRC website. However, a new Starter Checklist should now be completed instead.

What is a P46 used for?

The form tells HMRC that an employee has started work with a new employer, and it is used to calculate the employee’s tax code for the current tax year.

What does a P46 look like?

It is a three-part form that contains the employee’s personal details, as well as information on the amount of PAYE tax that the employee has paid in the current tax year.

The three parts of the form are:

Part A: The employee’s personal details
Part B: The employer’s details
Part C: The tax code for the current tax year

Where to send a P46?

Completed forms were sent to HMRC. The employee was then be issued with a PAYE coding notice, which gave their tax code for the current tax year. However, employers should now complete the Starter Checklist instead.

What is a P46 declaration?

The declaration is a statement on the form that confirms that the information provided is accurate and complete.

Where to send P46 form by post?

Employers should no longer send the form by post, but should instead complete the Starter Checklist online.

How to complete a P46 online?

Employers should now complete a Starter Checklist instead. In the past, P46 forms could be completed online using the HMRC website.

How to request a P46 form?

Since the P46 has been replaced by the Starter Checklist, P46 forms can no longer be requested from HMRC or your local tax office.

What has replaced the P46?

P46 forms have been replaced by the Starter Checklist.

What if I don’t have a P46?

If you don’t have one, you can use the Starter Checklist to calculate your tax code.

How to download a P46 form?

Since this type of form has been replaced by the Starter Checklist, P46 forms can no longer be downloaded from the HMRC website.

What is the difference between P45 and pP6?

Both are forms that are used to record an employee’s personal and tax details. The main difference between them is that P45s are issued by an employer when an employee leaves their job, while P46s are completed by the employer and sent to HMRC when an employee starts work with a new employer.

P46 what tax code to use?

The tax code is calculated using the information on the form.

What information does a P46 give?

This type of form gives the employee’s personal details (including their name, address, date of birth and National Insurance number), as well as their tax code. It also includes information on the amount of PAYE tax that the employee has paid in the current tax year.

What if I don’t have a P46?

If you don’t have a one, you can use the Starter Checklist to calculate your tax code. The Starter Checklist is a list of questions that you need to answer in order to calculate your tax code. You can find it on the HMRC website.

Important – The information provided in our articles is intended to be for general purpose use only, and not advice for you or your business. We strive to publish accurate information, but encourage you to fact-check and seek expert guidance. We recommend that you always speak to a qualified professional to get advice about how to operate your business under your specific requirements and circumstances.