What is a Starter Checklist? HMRC Starter Checklist Explained

A starter checklist is an HMRC form that is used by individuals who are starting a new job and don’t have a P45 to give to their new employer.

The starter checklist replaces the P46 form and needs to be completed by a new employee and given to their employer (not HMRC).

If you’re beginning a new position and don’t have a P45 form from your last employer or the DWP, your employer is expected to ask you to fill out a starter checklist.

Completing a starter checklist provides your new employer with the necessary information to set you up as a new staff member on their payroll system.

Making sure your new employer has the payroll information they need allows them to use the correct tax code for you so you don’t have to pay emergency tax.

Being emergency taxed isn’t permanent (and in time emergency tax is refunded by HMRC) but it is something to be avoided if you can because it can seriously affect your take home pay in the short term.

Who should complete a starter checklist?

Your employer will normally ask you to complete a starter checklist in the following circumstances:

  • You are unable to provide a P45 (this could be due to it being your first job or you have begun a new job without leaving your last one).
  • You have a P45 but it includes incorrect information.
  • You are temporarily posted in the UK and working for an overseas employer.

The starter checklist should be completed and handed in to your employer before your first payday.

This gives your payroll department enough time to set up your record in a way that uses the correct tax code from your first pay date.

How do I get a starter checklist?

If your employer doesn’t give you a stater checklist you can get one yourself on HMRC’s official website and you have the option to fill it out digitally or complete a hard copy.

When you have completed the checklist you need to give it to your employers payroll department in person, by post or email.

Your employer uses the starter checklist for internal payroll purposes only and doesn’t pass on the starter checklist to HMRC (the tax office).

Keeping a copy of you starter checklist is recommended just in case you need to refer to it in the future.

What do I need to complete the starter checklist?

You will need some or all of the following to complete a starter checklist:

  • Personal details including your full name, residential address with postcode, and date of birth.
  • National insurance number (NINO).
  • Employment start date.
  • Details on student (including the loan type) or post graduate loans.
  • Details about any income earned during the current fiscal year from another occupation, pension, or benefits received from Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Incapacity Benefit.
  • Passport identification if you are being temporarily deployed to the UK by a foreign employer.

Starter checklist statements

When you fill out your starter checklist, you will have to select one out of three available options called A, B, or C which are based on what most accurately reflects your circumstances.

Choosing the right statement is important because your employer uses the statement to establish your tax code ideally before your first pay date.

An incorrect statement selection could potentially lead to the wrong tax code being used and you overpaying or underpaying tax.

Starter checklist Statement A:

Statement A tells your employer to use the personal allowance. It is applicable if this is the first employment you have had in the present tax year (beginning from 6 April) and you haven’t received taxable Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, taxable Incapacity Benefit, state retirement or professional pension.

Starter checklist Statement B:

Statement B tells your employer to use the current personal allowance on a W1 or M1 basis. Choose statement B if you don’t have a P45 and from April 6 you have had another job or received any taxable Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, or taxable Incapacity Benefit.

Starter checklist Statement C:

Statement C is applicable if you have another job elsewhere or you have income from a state, occupational, or a personal pension.

Do I need to complete a starter checklist if I have a P45?

If you have your last P45 you wouldn’t normally have to complete a starter checklist. You might need to complete a starter checklist if you have a P45 that includes errors.

It could also be a good idea to complete a starter checklist if you are currently paying back a student loan because your P45 doesn’t specify the student loan plan type.

Starter checklist and your tax code

The main aim of the starter checklist is to achieve a correct tax code from day one of your new employment.

In reality HMRC may need to change your tax code at a later date depending on the information held on their records.

The tax coding system isn’t perfect and changing jobs may result in overlapping pay periods from your previous and new employment.

This could potentially lead to a shortfall in the amount of tax you owe at the end of the tax year, even if you have accurately filled out the starter checklist.

Reviewing your tax code after you have had your first pay from your new job is recommended so you can ask HMRC to make amendments in the quickest time possible.

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