View in browser 
 
Support from HMRC
 
 
Dear customer,
Are you or your clients making PAYE payments to HMRC? If so, please check the payment reference numbers are right, otherwise payments may not be recognised. This can lead to us issuing penalties and charges even if you or your client has paid on time, which you’ll need to call us about to correct.
A payment reference number is specific to the type of tax and the accounting period the payment is for. The characters in the payment reference number tells us where to allocate payments, to help us process your clients’ payments as quickly as possible.
Online banking services may also default to a previous payment reference, so please make sure you or your client checks this is right, every time you pay us.
We want to help you and your clients get this right, and you can use the 'Pay now' tool on GOV.UK to find the correct reference number to use each time. 
 
Paying PAYE – where to find your client's reference 
If you’re paying on time for the current period, you’ll need to use the correct client’s 13-character Accounts Office reference. Your client can find this on: 
the letter HMRC sent when they first registered as an employer
the front of their payment booklet
the letter from HMRC that replaced the booklet
their Business Tax Account, if they’ve already added Employer PAYE enrolment to it – they can search 'Business Tax Account' on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK to sign in
If you’re not paying for the current period, you need to add 4 extra characters to the end of your client’s Accounts Office reference. These final 4 characters will show the year and the month or quarter your payment is for. You’ll need to enter all 17 characters without any spaces.
Characters 14 and 15 are for the tax year. For example, 22 for the tax year from 6‌‌‌ ‌April 2021 to 5‌‌‌ ‌April 2022, or 23 for the tax year from 6‌‌‌ ‌April 2022 to 5‌‌‌ ‌April 2023.
Characters 16 and 17 are for the tax month or quarter depending on how you pay – examples of these can be found below.
Each tax period has a different payment reference number, so it’s important to make separate payments for each period.
You can find further help and support with making a PAYE payment on‌‌‌ GOV.UK.
If you or your clients make monthly payments
If the payment you or your client is making is not for the current period, examples of characters you’ll need to include in the payment reference can be found below. You can use the 'Pay now' tool on GOV.UK to find out which characters to use. 
For the periods
6‌‌‌ ‌April to 5‌‌‌ ‌May, use '01'
6‌‌‌ ‌May to 5‌‌‌ ‌June, use '02'
6‌‌‌ ‌June to 5‌‌‌ ‌July, use '03'
6‌‌‌ ‌July to 5‌‌‌ ‌August, use '04'
For example, to pay for the month ending 5‌‌‌ ‌June 2022 (month 2 of the 2022 to 23 tax year), add the 4 extra characters 2302 to the end of your client’s Accounts Office reference – 23 to tell us it’s for the tax year ending 5‌‌‌ ‌April 2023 and 02 to tell us it’s for month 2.
If you or your clients make quarterly payments
If you or your client is making a quarterly payment, you’ll need to include the characters relating to the relevant quarter below in your payment reference. 
For the periods
6‌‌‌ ‌April to 5‌‌‌ ‌July, use '03'
6‌‌‌‌‌‌ ‌‌‌July to 5‌‌‌ ‌October, use '06'
6‌‌‌ ‌October to 5‌‌‌ ‌January, use '09'
6‌‌‌ ‌January to 5‌‌‌ ‌April, use '12'
For example, to pay for the quarter ending 5‌‌‌ ‌October 2021, add the 4 extra characters 2206 to the end of your client’s Accounts Office reference – 22 to tell us it’s for the tax year ending 5‌‌‌ ‌April 2022 and 06 to tell us which quarter this relates to.
If you or your clients make yearly payments
If you or your client makes yearly payments, you’ll need to add 4 characters that identify the tax year and tax month in which your clients paid their employees. 
For example, if your client paid their employees on 8‌‌‌ ‌April 2022, add the 4 extra characters 2301 to the end of their Accounts Office reference – 23 to tell us it’s for the tax year ending 5‌‌‌ ‌April 2023 and 01 to tell us it’s for month 1.
 
Warning about scams   
We’re sharing this additional advice to help keep you safe. Please also share it with your clients for their security. 
If someone contacts you saying they’re from HMRC and wants you to transfer money urgently or give personal information, never let yourself be rushed. There are many different types of scam. Some threaten you with immediate arrest for tax evasion, others offer a tax rebate. Do not panic. We will never phone threatening you with arrest, only criminals do that.
Take your time and check HMRC’s advice about scams on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK before you do anything. You can also phone us directly, but make sure you use our contact details on GOV‌‌‌‌.UK. The National Cyber Security Centre has a helpful guide on how to stay secure online and protect yourself or your business against cyber crime, which you can find at cyberaware‌‌‌.gov‌‌‌.uk.
Yours faithfully, 
Myrtle Lloyd 
Director General for Customer Services
 
 
 
Stay safe online
For more information, please search 'avoid and report internet scams and phishing' on GOV​.UK.
HMRC’s help and support email service
To make changes to your topic subscriptions or to unsubscribe please go to our email portal.
Please note, by unsubscribing from this service you may continue to receive emails from other HMRC services.
HMRC Privacy Notice  |  Contact HMRC  |  Further support