Tax code changes for 2018/19
Tax codes are the lynchpin of the PAYE system – unless the tax code is correct, the PAYE system will not deduct the right amount of tax from an employee’s pay.
The tax code determines how much pay an employee may receive before they pay any tax. The most straightforward scenario is that the person receives the personal allowance for that year. The code is then the personal allowance for the year with the last digit omitted and an `L’ suffix. So, for 2017/18, the personal allowance is £11,500 and the associated tax code is 1150L. This is also the emergency tax code.
Employees’ situations vary and consequently different codes are needed to accommodate that. If an employee has more than one job, his or her allowances may be used up in job 1, leaving all the pay for job 2 to taxed. The 0T code – no allowances – accommodates this. A person may also have an 0T code if their personal allowance has been fully abated (at £123,000 for 2017/18 and £123,700 for 2018/19). An employee may have all his or her pay taxed at the basic rate, for which the relevant code is BR, or at the higher rate (code D0), or the additional rate (code D1). Code NT indicates that no tax is to be deducted.
Scottish taxpayers have an S prefix, indicating the Scottish rates of tax should be used.
Where one partner in a marriage or civil partnership is unable to use their personal allowance, they can transfer 10% of their personal allowance to their spouse or civil partner, as long as the recipient is not a higher or additional rate taxpayer. The person surrendering 10% of their allowance has a code with a `N’ suffix, whereas the recipient has an `M’ suffix’.
Tax underpayments or the tax due on benefits in kind may be collected through the PAYE system. The tax code is based on the net amount of the allowances less deductions. So, for example, if in 2017/18 a person had a personal allowance of £11,850 and a company car with a cash equivalent of £5,000, the net allowance due is £6,500 and the associated tax code would be 650L.
Where deductions exceed allowances, a person has a K prefix code – in this scenario, they do not have any free pay and are treated as if they have received additional taxable pay.
Tax codes need to be updated each year to reflect changes in allowances. The personal allowance is increased to £11,850. Where the employer does not receive a form P9(T) or an electronic notice of coding for an employee, the following changes should be made to update an employee’s tax code for the 2018/19 tax year:
add 35 to any code ending in L, so 1150L becomes 1185L;
add 39 to any code ending in M; and
add 31 to any code ending in N.
Any week one or month one markings should not be carried forward.
Codes BR, SBR, D0, SD0, D1, SD1 and NT can be carried forward to 2018/19.
The emergency code for 2018/19 is 1185L.
If a new code has been notified on form P9(T) or electronically, that should be used instead.
The updated codes should be used from 6 April 2018 onwards.