Tax codes explained Emergency tax codes


If you're on an emergency tax code, talk to your employer immediately

What to do if you're on an emergency tax code

If your employer does not know what your tax code should be, you will be taxed on an 'emergency' code of 1100L (1060L in 2015-16) or given a BR code.

A BR code means that you receive no tax-free personal allowance, so everything you earn will be taxed at 20%. Although you can claim back overpaid tax from HMRC, it is better to get your code changed as soon as possible, so you are given the correct allowance and pay the right amount. 

To do this, you should give your employer your P45 (or a completed P46 if you don't have a P45 from previous employment). 

If you are put on the emergency code 1100L, you will be given a tax free allowance of £11,000, above which you will start paying tax. 

For most employees this will be correct, as it is the  basic personal allowance and assumes that you are entitled to 1/12 of the allowance each month, (or 1/52 each week if you are paid weekly). However, it does not take into account any backlog of allowance that may be due to you – for example, following a period of unemployment. For this reason your employer may have to adjust the 1100L coding in some cases. 

As with a BR code, you need to contact your employer straight away and give them your P45 (or complete a P46 if you don't have one), in order to make sure you get the correct tax code.


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Last updated:

April 2016

Updated by:

Ian Robinson


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