You may get an emergency tax code when you start a new job or start getting benefits you must pay tax on.

When you might get an emergency tax code

You’ll be put on an emergency tax code if you’ve started:

  • a new job
  • working for an employer after being self employed
  • getting company benefits or the State Pension

While you’re on an emergency tax code, you pay tax on all your income above the basic Personal Allowance (£10,000 for the 2014 to 2015 tax year).

How to tell if you’re on an emergency tax code

You’ll be on an emergency tax code if your payslip says your tax code is 1000L W1 or 1000L M1.

You might be on an emergency tax code if your tax code is 1000L.

It’s more likely that your tax will be right at the end of the tax year if your emergency tax code is 1000L.

Getting the right tax code

HM Revenue & Customs will usually send you and your employer or pension provider the right tax code when they have been paid the tax from your previous job or pension. Your new employer or pension provider will adjust their next payment to you to:

  • repay you tax you’ve overpaid
  • pay any tax you owe

If you think being on an emergency tax code means you’ve paid too much at the end of a tax year, you can claim a refund.

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