New advice on national insurance numbers

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Tax chiefs have issued new guidance to employers operating PAYE after HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued a number of national insurance numbers that were missing a final letter.

Following the introduction of PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) reporting in April, HMRC said that as a result of some national insurance number verification requests (NVRs) and full payment submissions (FPS) with missing or incorrect national insurance numbers, it has issued some national insurance numbers without the final letter – A, B, C or D.

It has now put the issuing of national insurance numbers on hold while it carries out an investigation into the matter. In the meantime, it has provided information to employers on what they should do in three different situations:

  • The incorrect national insurance number was included on an FPS and the correct number goes back with no suffix: the employer should use the national insurance number that was sent back and use the suffix on the original submission – A, B, C or D. If they do not know what this was, they should enter the space bar.
  • No national insurance number was provided on the FPS and the correct number goes back with no suffix: the employer should use the national insurance number that was sent back, but enter the space bar instead of the suffix.
  • The employer sends an NVR and the national insurance number supplied by HMRC is without a suffix: the employer should use the national insurance number that was sent back but enter the space bar instead of the suffix.

If employers have been supplied with incomplete national insurance numbers then they should not try to guess what the missing letter should be, as this will only create further confusion.

If you have any doubts about what you should do, or have any other queries regarding RTI, then it is best to seek professional advice, please contact our expert Joel Harding