1. Overview

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.

The code is worked out by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who sends it to your employer or pension provider.

Your tax code will be made up of:

  • numbers - these refer to how much income you can have before you pay tax
  • usually one letter - it refers to how much tax should be taken from your wages or pension

1000L is the tax code currently used for most people born after 5 April 1948 with one job.

Your tax code will change each tax year (6 April to 5 April the following year), usually because the Personal Allowance is increased. Your code can also change for other reasons, eg if you start or stop getting State benefits (including the State Pension) or company benefits like a company car.

You may be paying the wrong amount of tax if you’re on the wrong tax code.

Where to find your tax code

You can get your tax code from:

  • payslips from your employer or pension provider
  • P45 from an employer if you leave a job
  • P60 from your employer at the end of each tax year
  • a PAYE Coding Notice - you may get one by post or you can check using HMRC’s Self Assessment online service if you’re registered

If you get income from more than one employer or pension provider, each will usually use a different tax code.

Your tax code doesn’t tell employers or pension providers how much you earn - it only tells them how much tax they need to take from payments they make to you.