A Guide To Tax Codes

What is a tax code?

A tax code is usually made up of one letter and several numbers, for example: 522L or K497.

If your tax code is a number followed by a letter

If you multiply the number in your tax code by 10, you’ll get the total amount of income you can earn in a year before paying tax.

The letter shows how the number should be adjusted following any changes to allowances announced by the Chancellor – common tax code letters are explained below.

Common tax code letters and what they mean

CodeReason for use
Lfor those eligible for the basic personal allowance
Pfor persons aged 65 to 74 and eligible for the full personal allowance
Vfor persons aged 65 to 74, eligible for the full personal allowance and the full married couple's allowance (for those born before 6 April 1935 and aged under 75) and estimated to be liable at the basic rate of tax
Yfor persons aged 75 or over and eligible for the full personal allowance
Tif there are any other items HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) needs to review in your tax code
Kwhen your total allowances are less than your total 'deductions'

Other tax codes

If your tax code has two letters but no number, or is the letter ‘D’ followed by a zero, it normally indicates that you have two or more sources of income and that all of your allowances have been applied to the tax code and income from your main job.

CodeReason for use
BRIs used when all your income is taxed at the basic rate. From 06/04/2008 the basic rate is 20% (most commonly used for a second job)
DOIs used when all your income is taxed at the higher rate of tax - currently 40% (most commonly used for a second job)
NTIs used when no tax is to be taken from your income or pension