Every employee working for a company has a Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) code which denotes how much tax you will pay in a year. If this code is incorrect, it could mean you are paying more or less tax than you should be, and may need to reclaim that money, or pay more. Neither is a good option, so spending a little time at the start of the tax year checking you have the right code could save a lot of hassle later on.
Why your tax code could be wrong
If you have changed jobs recently, got a pay rise, or gone on maternity leave, you could find your tax code hasn’t kept up with the changes in your life.
Your employer and HMRC are not responsible for ensuring you have the right tax code, and while they do their best to ensure you are paying the right tax, ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure your code is correct. They are computer generated by HMRC, so failing to check could mean you have the wrong tax code for an entire year or more.
The question is, how do you check? Helpfully, you can find out what the different parts of your tax code mean online. There are a few things to look for. For example, most people – with the exception of very high earners who have their personal allowance reduced once they reach annual earnings of £100,000 – can earn £12,570 this year before they need to pay any tax at all.
If you don’t have any benefits in kind from your employer, such as a company car, or a season-ticket loan, then you will most likely have the tax code 1257L. The ‘L’ in this code simply means you are entitled to the normal personal allowance.
However, let’s say you have transferred 10% of your personal allowance to your spouse under the Marriage Allowance transfer. In this case, you will have an ‘M’ at the end of your tax code.
A full list of tax code information and what you should expect to see can be found on the Gov.uk website. If you aren’t sure what your tax code should be, then discuss this with your employer or, if you work for a larger company, you can speak to your HR department.
We can help you meet your obligations
If you are still struggling with your PAYE code and want to be sure you are paying the right amount of tax, then contact us and we will go through this for you to make sure everything is correct.