The Dreaded P Forms

If I had a pound for every time someone has asked me a question about one of the P´s, I´d be a rich woman.

  • What on earth is a P35?
  • What do they look like?
  • When do I get one?
  • Who sends it to me?
  • Who do I send it to?

Understanding them can be a mind field, and that´s why I´ve written this blog post all about “The dreaded P forms”.

Let´s start with “What does P actually stand for?” It stands for “Payroll”, as in a Payroll form. Kind of simple when you think about it.

The easiest way to explain is to list all the Payroll forms below with an explanation of what they are. That way, next time you get a dreaded P form through the post, you can just visit this page. Oh, and please feel free to let others know about this blog post using our share icons below, or contact The Sussex Bookkeeper in Horsham if you need a little help :o)


The P35 is a year-end return completed by all employers. It is a summary of all the deductions that have been taken from employee wages and paid directly to HRMC (HM Revenue and Customs) during the tax year (in-case you´re asking the tax year is 06 April to 05 April). They are called reconciliation deductions - a bit of a mouth full I know - but as a basic example, if you had an employee earning £20,000 with £5,000 owing in tax then the P35 would show how much was paid to the HMRC through the year by way of automatic deductions (for example £3,000) and how much is left to pay now (for example £2,000).

P14 / P60

This is a summary of an employees´ pay - and tax deducted from it - in the tax year. Basically it will show your GROSS pay (money earned before you have given anything to the tax man) and then all your deductions. To confuse matters these two P forms are the same except one is for the employer to file with the HMRC (P14) and one is for the employee (P60). Remember though that an employee should always keep hold of their P60 because it is proof of what they have paid to the taxman.


The dreaded P45, a welcome document if you are choosing to leave a company independently, but not if the decision was out of your hands. The P45 is a record of an employees´ pay and deductions - so similar to the P60 - however this is issued when an employee leaves a company rather than at the end of the tax year.


If you are starting out in your first job role - or you didn´t receive a P45 from your last - then you and your new employer will need to complete a P46. This is basically notifying the HMRC that you have joined a new company. It is beneficial however to pursue your P45 from your previous company as this clearly documents where you stand, and assists your new company in ensuring you have the correct tax code assigned to you. The last thing you want to do is pay too much tax.


If you are earning over £8500 in a year and you´re in a great position of receiving “benefits in kind” then a P11D needs to be completed and sent by the employer to the HMRC. So what are benefits in kind I hear you ask? Well this includes anything that you get a benefit from such as a company car, medical insurance or an interest free loan.

HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs)

A useful link to the HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs) website where you can find the individual forms we have just gone through is here at

Now I hope that this has help clear up some of your questions, however should you require further help in understanding or would like the hassle of completing these forms in someone else´s hands then please contact The Sussex Bookkeeper in Horsham for further information.

Leisa Turnbull