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PAYE Payment Reference for HMRC

Using the correct PAYE reference is crucial because it lets HMRC know how to allocate the payment you are making. Here’s how you work out your PAYE payment reference.

As an employer, using the right payment reference for HMRC PAYE is essential for getting your payments over on time, allocated correctly and avoiding penalties.

Why Do You Need a PAYE Payment Reference for HMRC?

Every time you send a payment to HMRC you should include a PAYE reference number which tells HMRC who sent the payment and what it relates to.

By not putting a payment you risk your money getting lost in a suspense account, which can be time consuming to find.

How to Check Your HMRC PAYE Payment Reference

Your PAYE payment reference number is made up for three elements:

  1. Your employers’ reference number;
  2. The tax year you are paying;
  3. The month of the tax year you are paying.

The tax year runs from 6th April to 5th April.

That means the tax year reference you need to use the end of the year you want to pay.


PAYE Payment Reference Number Example 2018/2019

If you are making a payment for January 2019 that would be part of tax year 2018/2019, so your reference would be 19.

The month of the tax year you are paying into starts in April as follows

  • April: 01
  • May: 02
  • June: 03
  • July: 04
  • August: 05
  • September: 06
  • October: 07
  • November: 08
  • December: 09
  • January: 10
  • February: 11
  • March: 12

Putting this all together means your payment reference for HMRC PAYE should be made up of 14 digits.

For this example, let’s say your employers’ reference number is 456XY78901. That means the payment for January 2019 would have the reference 456XY789011910 {EMPLOYERS REF, TAX YEAR, MONTH}.

Where to Find Your HMRC Employers Reference Number

You will have been allocated your employers reference number when you set up your PAYE scheme for your business.

It is a 10 digit alphanumeric code and you can find it:

HMRC PAYE Payment Bank Details

The easiest way to pay your PAYE is online. The bank details for HMRC are:

Account number: 12001039
Sort code: 08 32 10
Account name: HMRC Cumbernauld

When is HMRC PAYE Due

PAYE is due to HMRC by the:

  • 22nd of each month for the previous tax month, if you pay monthly;
  • 22nd of each quarter following the end of a quarter, if you pay quarterly.

Updated 23 June 2019

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