In the United Kingdom and, until 1 January 2019 in the Republic of Ireland, a P45 is the reference code of a document titled Details of employee leaving work. The term is used in British slang and Irish slang as a metonym for termination of employment; the equivalent slang term in the United States is pink slip.
In the United Kingdom
In the UK, the front section, Part 1, is given by the old employer to HM Revenue and Customs, who then record the pay and tax details on to the individual's taxpayer record. Part 1A is to be retained by the employee, Part 2 retained by the new employer, and Part 3 taken by the new employer and sent to their tax office. The P45 contains details of earnings and tax paid during the tax year (tax paid in previous years is detailed on the P60 for that year).
The "P" code refers to documents in the PAYE series, in the same way that self-assessment documents are prefixed "SA" (e.g., SA100 - Individual tax return) and Tax credits paperwork is prefixed "TC" (e.g., TC600 - Tax credits application).
In the Republic of Ireland
In the Republic of Ireland, P45 was also used as a reference to a form used by the Revenue Commissioners with the same function. The administrative procedures in this area were similar; however, the form itself was different in design from the UK version. The form was eliminated from 1 January 2019, having been replaced by a real-time reporting of tax details to Revenue.
In popular culture
I received the following communication by urgent letter yesterday:
"Details of employee leaving work: Surname Blair. First name T"—
"It actually says 'Mr., Mrs., Miss or other'"—
"This form is important to you. Take good care of it. P45."— Tony Blair, Official Report (Hansard)
On 4 October 2017, at the annual Conservative Party conference in Manchester, Prime Minister Theresa May was handed a P45 form by prankster Simon Brodkin as a stunt claiming to be from then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Brodkin was arrested, but no charges were brought.
- "PAYE forms - P45, Starter Checklist, P60 and P11D". HM Revenue & Customs. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- "When an employee leaves or retires". HM Revenue & Customs. Retrieved 2013-05-18.
- Reddan, Fiona. "Bye bye P45: Revenue moves to modernise PAYE". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
- Elgot, Jessica Elgot; Grierson, Jamie (4 October 2017). "Security inquiry after prankster Simon Brodkin disrupts May speech". The Guardian.
- "Conservative conference: May handed P45". BBC News. 8 October 2017.
- PAYE forms: P45, P60, P11D GOV.UK information
- PAYE forms: P45, P46, P60, P11D Directgov pages in the UK National Archives
- E13 Day to Day Payroll Additional United Kingdom information
- Revenue Commissioners (October 2007). "Employers Guide to PAYE" (PDF). pp. §12.1: Form P45 (cessation certificate) pp.71–3, §12.3: Completing form P45 pp.73–5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2007-11-01. Republic of Ireland information
- Revenue Online (2005-07-04). "Document Type Definition P45" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-11-19. Retrieved 2007-11-01. DTD for online submission of P45 in XML format