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The short answer is that yes, you can take on an employee who doesn’t have a P45. We explain what to do when your new recruit doesn’t have a P45 to give you.

What is a P45 form?

Put simply, a P45 form is a document which demonstrates how much tax you have paid on your salary during the financial year. Each employee receives this as a reference when employment ends.

Their next employer uses the information on the employee’s P45 form to record their new starter with HMRC. It helps them to move the employee over on to their payroll system, and to set everything up correctly – for instance, by using the correct tax code.

Why doesn’t my new employee have a P45?

There are lots of possible reasons, so we can’t speak on behalf of every P45-less employee you might stumble across. Usually these boil down to two main reasons:

  • This is the first job the person has had, so they don’t have any tax or PAYE documentation from previous employers
  • The person is taking on a secondary job, so isn’t leaving one employer for another


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What should I do if a new member of staff doesn’t have a P45?

If you do find yourself recruiting a new member of the team who doesn’t come with a P45 then you’ll need to complete HMRC’s New Starter Checklist. This simple checklist was put in place to replace the old P46 forms, which are no longer in use.

In the absence of a P45, the checklist enables you to gather all of the information you’ll need to set an employee up on your PAYE system, including things like:

  • Personal details
  • Loan commitments (including student loans)
  • National Insurance number

This checklist is available to fill in digitally or as a printable document. Employees only need to provide this information to their employer, rather than sending the form to HMRC.

Check out our New Employer’s Guide for more information.

Speak to one of the team about our business accounting and bookkeeping services. Call 020 3355 4047 or get an instant online quote.

About The Author

Suzanne Goodier-Dodson

I'm a Senior Payroll Clerk with a degree in Mathematics, responsible for overseeing every aspect of payroll for our clients. In my spare time, I love to travel and going to gigs. Read my Staff Spotlight.

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28th June 2022 12:04 pm

what do i do if im taking a new employee on but they wont have there p45 until the end of the week but have to put them on my payroll wednesday i no there tax codes but not year to dat earnings do i just put 0 in for now and then once i have there p45 amended the figures?

Elizabeth Hughes
Elizabeth Hughes
30th June 2022 9:09 am
Reply to  john

Hi John

Thanks for your message. You can ask the employee to fill out a HMRC Starter Checklist (or something similar), which will ask them for a declaration which allows you to tax them correctly. HMRC can send correct year to date figures through directly with a new tax code if necessary.

I hope this is useful, but just let us know if there’s anything we can do to help!

Best wishes


23rd September 2022 9:34 am

If starting a new employment but you don’t want to reveal details of your previous salary is it possible to not send the p45 to your new employer and fill out the starter checklist instead? Or will HMRC fill the new employer in with the old salary details for the current tax year anyway?


Elizabeth Hughes
Elizabeth Hughes
23rd September 2022 3:47 pm
Reply to  Sarah

Hi Sarah

Thanks for your message! HMRC will send your previous pay figures to your new employer (if you don’t supply them yourself) so that your new employer can tax you correctly.

If there’s anything else we can do to help, just let us know.

Best wishes


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