RTI: new advice on national insurance numbers

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, it said on 16 May that as a result of some national insurance number verification requests (NVRs) and full payment submissions (FPS) involving missing or incorrect national insurance numbers, it had 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 during an investigation and 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: they should use the national insurance number that was sent back but enter the space bar instead of the suffix.

In all three situations, HMRC is urging employers not to guess which letter (A, B, C or D) should be used. It adds: “Please note that using a national insurance number without a suffix (A, B, C or D) should be the exception, in these scenarios only.”

HMRC has apologised and says it will provide further updates.

Link: Questions employers are asking HMRC about RTI