Schoolchildren who deliver newspapers will have to fill in a basic tax form as a condition of their employment.

Newsquest, Britain’s second biggest regional newspaper group, tried to get an exemption from the Inland Revenue for staff under 16 having to complete a P46 form but had their bid rejected.

Newsquest, which owns 17 daily newspapers in Britain, has also told schoolchildren and the rest of its distribution staff that they will have to open bank accounts as a condition of their employment.

The company went on to inform staff that anyone unable to open an account or complete a P46 would have their employment terminated.