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What is my HMRC five year work history, and why do you ask for it?
What is my HMRC five year work history, and why do you ask for it?
Written by Charlotte
Updated over a week ago

*This should be used as supporting evidence as part of your application, this should be uploaded when submitting your activity history and should not be sent to us instead of filling out your check information as we cannot do anything until your full application has been submitted.*

When you submit your background check with Orka Works, we may ask you to contact HMRC to get your five year employment history.

What is it?

An HMRC employment history can be accessed for free, which lists every job you've had in the UK including their start and end dates and the income tax paid on these.

HMRC creates this from the records sent by each payroll team at your previous employers and this can help us verify your working history quickly if you have been employed under PAYE in the UK.

What if I haven't been working in the UK?

You won't be able to use the five year HMRC history but take a look at this article to see what you can use here.

You don't need to have been in the UK for five years to do a background check as it is about you over the last five years and you don't need to have been working, we just need evidence of what you have been doing.

Why do you ask for it?

It can be really hard to remember the dates of when you were employed by companies, where you worked, and find supporting documents to prove this.

By accessing your five year history from HMRC, you'll hopefully save yourself the effort of having to look for, scan and send us information about companies that you worked for and who paid you under PAYE (including zero hour) contracts.

This information only confirms employment for roles where it shows you have been paid by them and if a year or time period is blank then you will need to provide alternative activities and documentation for these periods.

You can access this faster via the HMRC app or website yourself:

You can access this information through the HMRC app or website within minutes and save it for future use too.

The information you can access includes:

  • Your 5-year employment history and income

  • National Insurance (NI) number

  • Your tax codes

You can then click “Print this page” to download or print these details and share them with us, or any future employer. The app provides the same information HMRC would post if you contacted directly but without the need to call and then wait for a letter.

How to make an account on the HMRC App

Step 1

Download the free HMRC app from the App Store for iOS if you’re using an iPhone or the Google Play Store for Android phone users.

Step 2

Follow the instructions on the screen to complete your app settings. You’ll then be asked to sign into your account

Step 3

You need to know your Government Gateway user ID and password to sign into your

account on the app for the first time.

If you don't already have an ID and password, this can be created on the same sign-in page. Once this is all setup, you won't be prompted to sign in with your ID or password again. You can log in using a pin, fingerprint or facial recognition - depending on what your device supports.

Getting the details you need

Step 1

Once open, the app will show your personalised 'Money’ screen. Select the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) section.

Step 2

Select 'Check previous tax years'.

Step 3

You will see 'Your PAYE Income Tax History'. You can scroll down to see the five previous years. HMRC have also released a video which explains how to confirm your employment details using the HMRC app.

Step 4

Click “Print this document” in the top left-hand corner to download the pages you need. This also allows you to save the document as a PDF file. This can then be sent to to help us complete your employment checks.

How to use the HMRC website to get your employment history

The HMRC website provides the exact same information as the app, but some users find it easier to navigate, especially if they’re using a computer.

Please find step by step instructions below and kindly follow each step carefully:

  • Click on the following link and start now:

  • If you don't already have a login then click Create sign in details and follow the steps

  • If you already have a login then you can Sign in

  • Click Pay as you earn

  • Click PAYE Income Tax History

  • Scroll to the bottom and click “Print this page”

  • Be sure to set this to download as .pdf

Please note that the "print" step is very important as this will then show your name as well as payment dates.

Example of how this should look. If it does not look similar to this page it will not be accepted:

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