Are "golden hello" payments taxable?

A "golden hello" is an amount paid to an employee as an inducement to take up employment with a particular employer. Payments are normally made in the form of a cash lump sum. Such a payment is a reward for services about to be rendered and arises as a direct result of the prospective employment. Any payment should be subject to tax and national insurance under the employer's PAYE scheme, as it represents employment income for becoming an employee.

Payments are taxed at the time of receipt. If a payment is made to an employee before he or she starts work, tax must be deducted using a BR tax code. Golden hellos paid with the first payment of salary or wages are taxed in accordance with the normal rules applying to the payment.