Guidance

Tell HMRC about a student or postgraduate loan in your tax return

If you complete a Self Assessment tax return, you must use it to tell HMRC about your student or postgraduate loan deductions.

You’ll need to complete the student and, or postgraduate loan (PGL) repayment section of your Self Assessment tax return if the Student Loans Company (SLC) has said your repayments were due to start on or before 6 April of the year you’re completing your return for. If you do not give the correct information, you may have to pay penalties.

Your student loan Plan 1 or 2 deduction will be calculated based on 9% of your total income above the threshold of your plan type.

Your PGL deduction will be calculated based on 6% of your total income above the threshold.

You could be repaying Plan 1 or 2 and PGL at the same time. If so, you’ll be due to repay 15% of your total income above the threshold.

Information on your loan or plan type is supplied to HMRC by the SLC.

Give the information on a paper or online tax return.

Information you’ll need

You’ll need details of any amounts already deducted through your employment.

If you have had more than one job in the year, you’ll need to add up the repayments shown on all of your payslips, rather than just those of the most recent job. Your P60 will not show the amounts deducted by a previous employer.

If you do not have access to some or all of your payslips, you can contact your:

  • previous employer
  • current employer, if you’re missing a payslip or P60

If you’ve had more than one source of income in the year, you might have to pay more than just your Pay As You Earn (PAYE) deductions.

Paper tax return

Box 1

Put an ‘X’ in box 1 if the SLC have told you that your repayments started on or before 6 April of the year you’re completing your return for.

This is the only question you have to answer if you’re repaying your student loan, and or PGL and do not have any PAYE income.

Box 2

Put the total of all student loan Plan 1 or 2 deductions taken from all your employments through PAYE in the tax year you’re completing your return for. You will find this information on your P60 or by adding up all the Plan 1 or 2 deductions on your payslips for that year.

Box 3

Put the total of all PGL deductions taken from all your employments through PAYE in the tax year you’re completing your return for. You will find this information on your P60 or by adding up all the PGL deductions on your payslips for that year.

Recording incorrect deductions will affect the student loan and, or PGL charge, and could result in you being charged more.

Online tax return

Section 2 – ‘Tell us about you’

Select ‘Yes’:

  • then choose the type of plan that you’re repaying if the SLC have told you that your repayments of your student loan started on or before 6 April of the year you’re completing your return for, even if an employer made repayment deductions or your income was below the plan threshold
  • if the SLC have told you that your repayments of your PGL loan started on or before 6 April of the year you’re completing your return for, even if an employer made repayment deductions or your income was below the PGL threshold

These boxes may already be completed for you.

HMRC systems will then use the information supplied by the SLC to calculate the correct student loan and, or PGL repayment due. If you change the boxes:

  • a warning message will be issued advising that the entry is different from the plan type or loan provided by SLC, the warning message advises to check the letter from SLC for the correct loan and or plan type
  • an automatic calculation will be issued advising HMRC has changed the loan, plan type and the affect this has had on the calculation

Recording incorrectly will affect the student loan and, or PGL amount charged, however, HMRC systems will verify the information supplied by SLC and a calculation will be automatically issued to advise of any changes.

You may be liable to repay Plan 1 or 2 and PGL at the same time.

These are the only questions you have to answer if you’re repaying your student loan and, or PGL and do not have any PAYE income.

Section 4 – ‘Fill in your return’

Put the total of the amounts already deducted through your employment for the tax year you’re completing your return for. You can find these amounts on your P60 or by adding up all the student loan and, or PGL deductions on your payslips for that year.

You need to record the student loan plan type deductions and PGL deductions separately in the relevant boxes.

Do not include here any overseas direct debit payments or voluntary payments you have made.

The repayment amount deducted by your employer, may already show here. You need to check the amount is correct even if it’s zero.

If it’s correct, choose ‘Yes’ then ‘Save and continue’.

If it’s not correct, choose ‘No’ and enter the correct amount. Remember to tell us why the figure is different and include the name and date of the document that shows this.

We’ll check the amount given against the information provided by your employer.

Recording incorrect deductions will affect the student loan and, or PGL charge and could result in you being charged more.

Overseas Direct Debit payments

If you have been paying Direct Debit payments to the SLC while you have been abroad your tax return will include your total income.

Your student loan repayments will be calculated on this total income, but will not take into account the Direct Debit payments you have already made to the SLC.

Contact the SLC after you submit your tax return, they will tell HMRC how much you have paid.

HMRC then uses this figure to reduce the amount of tax you owe.

Voluntary payments

If you want to, you can make additional payments to the SLC. These voluntary payments are separate to amounts collected by your employer or through your tax return, and will not change them.

You cannot choose to make these additional payments instead of your normal payments and voluntary payments cannot be refunded.

Voluntary payments will reduce the overall length of your loan and the interest charged on it.

Find out how to make a voluntary payment.

Published 29 December 2016
Last updated 6 April 2020 + show all updates
  1. This guide has been amended for the 2019 to 2020 tax year.

  2. Information about overseas Direct Debit payments has been added.

  3. This guidance has been updated with information on how to give details of your Student Loan on an online tax return.

  4. Added translation

  5. First published.