Make child maintenance deductions from an employee's pay

Making payments to CMS - 1993 and 2003 schemes

You must pay the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) the amount of child maintenance you take from your employee's wages. This must be done as soon as possible but no later than the 19th day of the month after the month in which you have taken it.

For example, if you take the money on 30 September, you must send it to CMS before 19 October; if you take the money on 1 October, you must send it before 19 November.

You should allow at least 4 working days for payments to reach CMS.

Once you have made the first deduction you should establish a regular pattern of payment.

How to pay money to CMS

1. Paying by Bank Automated Clearing System (BACS) payments

The easiest and quickest way for you to pay money to CMS is by sending an individual Bank Automated Clearing System (BACS) payment for each separate employee from whom you make a deduction from earnings.

An individual BACS payment involves less paperwork than a multiple BACS payment because you don't need to fill in and post a Deduction from Earnings Order (DEO) payment schedule.

You can also pay by other methods:

  • multiple BACS - one combined payment for more than one employee - these must be accompanied by completed DEO payment schedules, which need to be posted to CMS each time
  • internet banking
  • telephone banking

2. Paying by automated credit transfer

This is CMS preferred way of collecting child maintenance payments because of its security and quick clearance times. The information that you need to provide to your bank is:

  • Account name: NI CMED Client Fund Account
  • Bank sort code number: 60-70-80
  • Bank account number: 10025650

When setting up an automated credit transfer, please make sure that the information is set out as shown in the following table. You should send a separate automated credit transfer payment for each employee.

BACS field number Description of field Content
1 Destination sorting code number 60-70-80
2 Destination account number 10025650
3 Destination type of account codeTrans 0
4 Transaction code 99
5 Originating sort code number Your company's bank sort code
6 Origination account number Your company's bank account number
7 Free Not used
8 Amount (expressed in pence) Value of deduction
9 User's name Your company's name
10 Liable person's reference number Please see reference table below
11 Destination account name NI CMED Client Fund Account


All of this information is important but especially Field 10, Client Reference numbers which is vital to ensure the money you deduct and send CMS is correctly assigned. You must ensure that the reference number quoted in this field is taken from the latest DEO provided by CMS (this can be found in the top right hand corner of the notification).

The valid reference numbers will be in one of the following formats:

Reference Number Description of field Field Length Field Type Example
NINO Liable person's National Insurance Number 9 Alpha-numeric NA123456A
RFA Liable person's request for assessment number 12 Numeric 100123456701
PID Liable person's person identifier 12 Numeric 001234567800
NST Ref Liable person’s clerical reference number 13 Alpha-numeric




Note: Please ensure that the reference number entered does not include any additional characters (ie quotes, dashes, underscores, full-stops etc).

Sending an automated credit transfer

If you send automated credit transfer payments covering deductions for one or more liable persons, you must also send a DEO payments schedule (CSF802) (NI).

You can send this by post to:

NI Child Maintenance Service

Download the schedule of payments form CSF802 (NI) (PDF, 54K).

The DEO payments schedule must include the following details for each liable person:

  • their full name (forenames and surname)
  • their reference number
  • the amount of the deduction taken (in pounds sterling)

The amount of the automated credit transfer must be the same as the total amount of deduction shown on the Deductions from Earnings Order payments schedule.

Until CMS receive this information they will not know who the child maintenance payment is for. This will delay the money being passed to the parent with care of the child.

3. Paying by Internet or telephone banking

If you are only paying for a small number of employees, or your payroll system cannot make BACS payments, you could make your payment by internet or telephone banking.

To pay this way, you must set up the CMS as a new payee. You will need to set up a payee record for each of the employees you are administering a deduction from earnings for. If you are paying by internet banking, you can do this yourself. If you are paying by telephone banking, you must ask your bank to do this

The information you will need to set up the CMS as a payee is:

  • payee account number: 10025650
  • payee sort code: 60-70-80
  • payee account name: NI CMED Client Fund Account
  • payee reference number: liable person’s reference number

Once you have set up a payee record for each employee, you will then need to make a single transfer for each employee for every payment period on the agreed payment date.

4. Paying by cheque

CMS prefer to receive payments by an automated method.  However, if you are paying by cheque, please make all cheques payable to NI CMED Client Fund Account.

You should send the cheque(s) and the Deduction from Earnings Order payments schedule to:

NI Child Maintenance Service

The DEO payments schedule must list the following information:

  • the employee’s full name (forenames and surname)
  • the employee’s reference number; and
  • the amount of the deduction taken (in pounds sterling)

The amount of the cheque must be the same as the total amount of deductions shown on the DEO payments schedule.

If you pay the wrong amount

If you find a mistake in the amount you have paid, you should contact the Child Maintenance Service as soon as possible.

You should not use a deduction from earnings payment schedule to recover previous overpayments or make up underpayments. If you do, CMS may not be able to pay the receiving parent.

If the payment it receives differs from the total shown on the payment schedule, CMS will contact you to arrange the correct payment or to correct the schedule.

Making deductions for administrative costs

You may take up to £1 towards administrative costs for each deduction, on top of the amount of the DEO. You can take it as well as the deduction from earnings even if it reduces the employee's income below the protected earnings proportion.

You must tell your employee how much you have taken from their earnings, including any amount for administrative costs, and record the amount in writing. You must tell them this - and record it - by the payday after the one when you made the deduction.