Pay As You Earn (PAYE) form: starter checklist

Updated on 1 February 2021

Are you starting a new job and do not have a form P45? Here we provide three annotated examples to illustrate how you should complete a starter checklist.

Image of a calendar and sticky note with start new job written on it
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When you start a job, your employer has to provide some information to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) so that they can decide what tax free allowances you are entitled to.

If you are starting a new job and do not have a form P45 from a previous employer or the Department for Work and Pensions, your employer should ask you to complete a starter checklist. This might be the case if this is your very first job, or if you have not worked previously during the tax year, or you have misplaced your form P45.

The checklist asks you for relevant information; it will help your employer to allocate a tax code and work out the tax due on your first payday. If you do not provide this information, you could end up paying the wrong amount of tax.

⚠️ You should be aware that one major cause of tax problems for those in employment, is the incorrect completion of the starter checklist – in particular picking the wrong employee statement (A, B or C). We explain more in our news piece Why completing a starter checklist CORRECTLY when starting a new job really does matter!.

If your employer does not ask you to complete a starter checklist, you can get the form and complete it yourself.

Give the completed checklist to your employer. Do not send the checklist to HMRC. We also recommend keeping a copy of the checklist for your records.

There are two versions of the form available on GOV.UK.

One allows you to complete the starter checklist onscreen and then print it so you give it to your employer.

The other is a blank copy of the starter checklist that you can download and print so you can complete it by hand.

You will not be able to save a completed online form, so please do keep a copy for your records.

Example 1

Jenny J, who was born 21 June 1994 starts work on 5 July 2020. This is her first ever job and as she has been studying full-time and then travelling abroad until then, she has not been claiming any benefits or pensions. Jenny has a Student Loan, which she has not started to pay off yet. She completed her higher education course before 6 April 2020.

LITRG Image of HMRC starter checklist example 1

Example 2

Caroline C, who was born 31 August 1968 has worked part-time for several years for a large supermarket. On 30 June 2020 she starts a second part-time job for a local coffee shop. She does not have a Student Loan.

LITRG Image of HMRC starter checklist example 2

Example 3

Mike M, who was born 10 October 1981 was made redundant in 2018. He has been claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance since 2018 and looking for a new job. On 1 September 2020, having found a job, he starts work for a new employer and no longer claims Jobseeker’s Allowance. He has a Student Loan. When he was made redundant, he set up a monthly payment plan with the Students Loan Company to repay the outstanding loan, and he wants this arrangement to continue.

LITRG Image of HMRC starter checklist example 3

◀ Form P87 explained

P2 tax code letter: employee ▶

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