HMRC Payroll Compliance
5 min read

HMRC's New Starter Checklist Explained: A Comprehensive Guide

September 4, 2023

Hiring new team members? To make sure you have everything you need before the first Full Payment Submission (FPS) - you might have to use a new starter checklist.

A new starter form is used by HMRC to collect information for new joiners who might not have a P45 from their previous role.

Below, we'll go through exactly how it works, when it's needed and who needs to do what when it comes to filling it out.

What is the HMRC new starter checklist?

The HMRC New Starter Checklist is a document used by employers to collect essential information about new employees for tax purposes.

This form is given to employees to collect all the information you'll need to determine their tax code and whether or not they have student loan deductions.

This helps ensure employees are put on the correct tax code and that they're paying the correct amount of income tax.

You'll need a new starter checklist if an employee:

  • Doesn't have a P45
  • Has personal details that differ from those shown on their P45
  • Has been temporarily sent to work in the UK by an employer in another country

Why does it matter?

Here's why completing the starter checklist is so important:

  • Tax code allocation: The information provided on the checklist is used to assign the relevant tax code to an employee to avoid the over or underpayment of tax.
  • Avoiding penalties: If you, as an employer, don't submit accurate information to HMRC, this can result in penalties for both you and your employee(s).

What is a P46? What's the difference between this and a new starter checklist?

P46 forms are no longer in use, they’ve now been replaced by the new starter checklist.

P46 forms were used to collect the information required to determine employee tax codes before the introduction of the new starter form…

They now no longer exist and are not HMRC-compliant.

The new starter checklist is the current, recommended form for employers in the UK to collect information from new employees for tax purposes.

Do employees need a starter checklist if they have P45?

Employees don't necessarily need a starter checklist if they already have a P45.

When starting a new job, your employees should provide you with the P45 received from their previous employer.

The P45 includes information about the employee's earnings and tax payments during their previous employment, which you can then use to calculate their tax code for their new job at your organisation.

A new starter checklist will need to be used if you can't (or can't immediately) get a P45 for a new joiner to get all the details to make sure they are on the right tax code.

How to accurately complete the HMRC new starter checklist

For your employees:

Get access to the checklist

You can obtain the checklist directly from HMRC's website or through your payroll software provider.

You can access the form via HMRC's website here

Collect employee details

Start by collecting essential information, including full name, address, and date of birth.

New starter checklist personnal details

Tax code declaration

Employees must declare whether they have another job or are receiving a state, company, or private pension. This declaration helps determine their tax code.

New starter checklist: personal statement


Student loan declaration

If applicable, employees should declare their student loan status -  which will show whether or not they're currently repaying a student loan. 

New starter checklist: student loans


For the employer (you):

NI category

You'll need to determine the employee's NICs category based on their age, earnings, and circumstances. This information is crucial for calculating NICs contributions.

Submit to HMRC

Once the checklist is complete, submit the information to HMRC through your payroll system (such as Pento).

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New starter checklist FAQ 

 What is a new starter checklist for?

When someone new joins your business, a new starter checklist is used to collect the information needed to determine their tax code.

Does a P45 replace the starter checklist?

A P45 form will typically replace the need for a starter checklist when an employee starts a new job.

Is HMRC's starter checklist a P46?

The starter checklist serves the same purpose as a P46, however the P46 has now been retired and is no longer in-line with HMRC regulations.

Does a new starter checklist prevent emergency tax code?

No, a new starter checklist does not prevent the application of an emergency tax rate. An emergency tax code is applied to an employee's salary in certain situations, even if they have completed a starter checklist.

When a new employee starts a job, you might not have received their tax information from HMRC yet. As a result, you'd still apply an emergency tax code until you receive the correct tax code from HMRC.

What does an employer do without a new starter checklist?

In the absence of a starter checklist or a P45, employees go into the 0T W1/M1 tax code. This code should be used if you haven't got enough information to complete a starter checklist.

An 0T W1/M1 code gives employees no tax free pay, but unlike BR, D0 or D1 codes it is not a flat rate -iIt takes account of the basic rate, higher rate and additional rate tax bands.

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