Following the introduction of Real Time Information (RTI) reporting for PAYE, employers have been given new guidance on verifying or obtaining national insurance numbers.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) issued the advice on 12 April after receiving a number of enquiries from employers experiencing difficulties.
It said: “Employers are receiving rejections for national insurance number Verification Requests (NVRs). These rejections are correct and are being made because the employer is sending the request before they have made their first Full Payment Submission (FPS).
“You cannot send an NVR until you have started to send PAYE information in real time – wait two weeks after sending your first FPS before sending an NVR.”
HMRC said it had also had a number of calls from employees, who had been told that their employer insisted that all employees must have a national insurance number for when they submit RTI returns.
It said that there would be some circumstances were a national insurance number was not available – for example, when an employee is under 16 years old – and stressed that in these cases: “You must leave the national insurance number field blank for that employee. You must not use an incorrect or ‘dummy’ national insurance number.
“What is essential is that, when a national insurance number forms part of a real time PAYE submission, it is correct.”