What is a P60? Your P60 Explained

A P60 form is an official statement showing how much you have earned, and the amount of tax you have paid in a previous tax year.

The form P60 (end of year certificate) is important because it is proof of your earnings and deductions under PAYE from either an employer or pension provider.

It is a form that is unique to you and covers a number of tax facts and figures that HMRC uses to keep your tax record accurate and correct.

Understanding the meaning behind each part of your P60 and how to check it is essential because it is seen as your responsibility to point out any errors to HMRC.

A P60 tax refund is a repayment of income tax because you have paid too much.

The figures on the P60 will show whether you’ve paid too much tax against the income you have had in that year.

How do I get a P60?

The employer you’re working for at the end of the tax year should automatically give you a P60 form.

The tax year ends on the 5th April each year and you should receive your P60 form from your employer (or pension provider) by the 31 May each year.

You will get one P60 from every job you have if you are employed at the end of the tax year.

Your P60 can be given to you electronically (usually via email) or on paper.

Many employers also provide online access so you can view your P60 online via an internal payroll app.

If you leave your employer before the end of a tax year, you will typically receive a P45 instead of a P60.

What figures are on my P60?

Knowing how to understand a P60 is useful. A fair chunk of the information on your P60 is about your identity like your full name and national insurance number.

The main figures that make up your P60 are:

  • Total pay: How much income you’ve earned from your employer.
  • Total tax deducted: The amount of income tax taken from you by the employer issuing the P60.
  • National Insurance contributions: The amount of NI contributions made in the year.
  • Total pay from any previous employment.
  • Total tax deducted from previous employment.
  • Statutory payments made such as maternity and paternity pay.
  • Final tax code as used by the employer issuing the P60. Your PAYE tax code is important and if wrong can result in you paying the incorrect amount of income tax. Our PAYE tax code guide can help you find out more.
  • Student loan deductions.

Why is my P60 important?

Your P60 form is important in a variety of circumstances and it’s recommended that you keep all of your P60 forms for the last six tax years.

Reasons why you might need your P60 form include:

  • Claiming a PAYE tax rebate.
  • Fixing errors on your HMRC’s system. Sometimes your P60 details are not on record with the tax office. If this is the case and you apply for a tax refund or a tax rebate, the money you are owed cannot be paid until your P60 has been located. Providing a P60 to the tax office will mean your record can be updated quickly and your tax rebate issued.
  • Applying for credit, for example when applying for a mortgage, will often need you to provide proof of earnings, like a P60 form.
  • If you complete a self assessment tax return and have income under PAYE you will need your P60 to complete the employment or pension page on your tax return. You will need the gross pay, tax paid, employer PAYE tax reference number and name all of which is shown on your P60.

Keeping a copy of your P60 for a minimum of six tax years is best practice and you can also view and print the same information that would be on a P60 online by using the HMRC personal tax account service.

How do I claim a P60 tax refund?

A tax refund may be owed to you after a tax year ends. If you feel that your P60 figures indicate that you have overpaid income tax and you have not had any other income during that tax year it is likely that HMRC will refund any overpayment automatically.

HMRC will send you a P800 explaining the overpayment and you can typically reclaim the refund online or receive a cheque through the post.

If you have paid too much tax and a refund hasn’t been issued automatically by HMRC you have four tax years to claim it back.

Your P60 can be helpful to allow HMRC to calculate your tax refund especially if they have missing information on your record.

The tax office can be contacted via their general enquiries phone number on 0300 200 3300 or online if you need them to answer any queries relating to your P60.

P60 tax refund example

An example of a common reason why someone may be owed a P60 tax refund is the use of an emergency tax code.

Employers can use an emergency tax code if they haven’t been given a P45 when you started working with them.

An emergency tax code can look like BR or use the prefix of M1 or W1 at the end of a code.

If the amount of tax you have paid is more than you needed to pay because of the emergency code you should be entitled to a P60 tax refund from HMRC.

What does the letter “R” mean on my P60?

If the tax paid figure on your P60 is accompanied by the letter “R” it indicates that you successfully received a tax refund during the tax year through your salary.

Assuming that the refund stated on your P60 is correct you would not be due a further tax rebate for that amount from that tax year.

Check your P60 for errors

When understanding a P60, it’s a good idea to check the figures entered are correct, because if they’re wrong you could be paying too much or too little income tax.

Some of the key P60 entries to check include:

  • Your national insurance number.
  • Your final tax code.
  • Your gross pay.
  • Your tax deducted.
  • Your national insurance deducted.

You can ask your employers payroll department to correct any errors and reissue a revised P60.

Fixing any mistakes as soon as possible is always best so you can avoid issues becoming a bigger problem in the future.

Your personal tax account or the HMRC app holds past P60 details so you can view your P60 online for multiple tax years if you need to.

What does the final tax code mean on my P60?

On your P60 you will see a box called “final tax code” which shows the last tax code that was used by your employer or pension provider in that tax year.

The final tax code stated on your P60 isn’t necessarily the same code that was used throughout the whole tax year.

This means you may have had an incorrect tax code during that year which could result in an overpayment or underpayment of tax.

Checking your P60 final tax code is important because if the tax code is wrong it could be carried over by your employer or pension provider to the current tax year and continue to be incorrect.

I’ve lost or not been given a P60 can I get a copy?

If you have not been given a P60 form you can ask your employer for a duplicate or for a statement of earnings which details the same information, and can be used as a direct replacement for a P60.

You can also retrieve and view your P60 information via your online personal tax account or you can call HMRC and ask for an employment history letter to be posted to you.

The quickest and easiest way is to view and download your P60 details online from your personal tax account.

Is a P60 the same as a P45?

The forms P60 and P45 do include similar personal and financial details but are not the same.

They are just two of the many tax forms that HMRC uses for employees working under PAYE.

  • P60 end of year certificate outlines your annual earnings, along with the total tax and national insurance contributions made during a specific tax year.
  • P45 details of employee leaving work is only issued when leave a job under PAYE. It solely details your income and tax information up to the date you leave that employment.

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