Tax codes

1. Check if your tax code is correct

Your tax code is used by your employer or pension provider to work out how much Income Tax to take from your pay or pension.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will tell them which code to use to collect the right tax.

You can check your Income Tax online to see:

  • what your tax code is
  • how your tax code is worked out
  • how much tax you’re likely to pay

What your tax code means

Your tax code will normally start with a number and end with a letter.

1150L is the tax code currently used for most people who have one job or pension.

How the number is worked out

The numbers in your tax code tell your employer or pension provider how much tax-free income you get in that tax year.

  1. HMRC works out your tax-free Personal Allowance.

  2. Income that you haven’t paid tax on (such as untaxed interest or part-time earnings) and the value of any benefits from your job (such as a company car) are added up.

  3. The income that you haven’t paid tax on is taken away from your Personal Allowance. What’s left is the tax-free income you’re allowed in a tax year.

  4. The last digit in the tax-free income amount is removed.

What the letter means

Letters in your tax code refer to your situation and how it affects your Personal Allowance.

Letter What it means
L You’re entitled to the standard tax-free Personal Allowance
M Marriage Allowance: you’ve received a transfer of 10% of your partner’s Personal Allowance
N Marriage Allowance: you’ve transferred 10% of your Personal Allowance to your partner
S Your income or pension is taxed using the rates in Scotland.
T Your tax code includes other calculations to work out your Personal Allowance, for example it’s been reduced because your estimated annual income is more than £100,000
0T Your Personal Allowance has been used up, or you’ve started a new job and your employer doesn’t have the details they need to give you a tax code
BR All your income from this job or pension is taxed at the basic rate (usually used if you’ve got more than one job or pension)
D0 All your income from this job or pension is taxed at the higher rate (usually used if you’ve got more than one job or pension)
D1 All your income from this job or pension is taxed at the additional rate (usually used if you’ve got more than one job or pension)
NT You’re not paying any tax on this income

If your tax code has ‘W1’ or ‘M1’ at the end

These are emergency tax codes.

If your tax code has a ‘K’ at the beginning

Tax codes with ‘K’ at the beginning mean you have income that isn’t being taxed another way and it’s worth more than your tax-free allowance.

For most people, this happens when you’re:

  • paying tax you owe from a previous year through your wages or pension
  • getting benefits you need to pay tax on - these can be state benefits or company benefits

Your employer or pension provider takes the tax due on the income that hasn’t been taxed from your wages or pension - even if another organisation is paying the untaxed income to you.

Employers and pension providers can’t take more than half your pre-tax wages or pension when using a K tax code.