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What is my tax code?

A tax code is made up of letters and numbers, and is usually shown on your payslip. If you’re on the wrong tax code, you may be owed a tax refund.

Tax codes explained

Your tax code will usually start with a number and end with a letter, for example, 115OL is the tax code currently used for most people who have one job or pension. As a general guide, you need to multiply your tax code by 10 to get the total amount of income you can earn each year before being taxed.

For example, the number 1000 was an indication of the proportion of your salary which would have been tax-free in the 2014/2015 tax year, which would be £10,000.

What do the tax code letters mean?

The tax code letter, which generally comes after the number, gives your employer further information on the types of allowance you receive or the rate of tax that should be charged.

The tax codes below are the most common ones you will come across:


All your pay from this source is taxed at the basic rate. This is because your allowances have already been used up against your other income.


All your income from this source is taxed at the higher rate (usually if you have more than one income source).


You are entitled to the basic personal allowance for a person under the age of 65.


You pay no tax on this income.


Used if your tax office needs to review your tax code – for example, if your tax affairs are complex. You can ask for a T code to keep your personal details confidential.

W1 or M1

These are temporary emergency tax codes.


Are you on the wrong tax code?

If you were on the wrong tax code, you may be owed a rebate.
Use our tax rebate calculator to see an estimate of what is due to you.

For a free, no-obligation consultation Speak to one of our tax refunds consultants

+44 (0) 80 8141 5503 or

South Africa

Cape Town

Regent Square
Doncaster Road
Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


25 Richefond Circle
Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

United Kingdom


One Croydon
12-16 Addiscombe Road
Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



9 Yarra Street
South Yarra
VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

Sable International is not affiliated with HMRC, we assist you in making your tax return.
Read about our tax refund service.

Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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