What is a 1288L tax code?

Having a 1288L tax code means that your personal allowance for that tax year is £12,880 and means that you can earn more before needing to pay income tax in comparison to the basic £12,570 personal allowance.

The 1288L tax code is higher than the 1257L tax code which is typically a standard code based on a tax free personal allowance of £12,570.

To work out your personal allowance you generally multiply the tax code number by 10 so for the 1288L tax code it’s a calculation of 1288 X 10 totalling £12,880.

Getting your personal allowance and tax code right is essential to make sure you have the correct income tax deducted from your pay so checking your 1288L tax code is a good idea.

Why do I have a 1288L tax code?

The most common reason for being assigned a 1288L tax code is being granted the working from home allowance which is not allocated automatically and has to be claimed through the correct HMRC process.

When you receive the working from home allowance from HMRC it increases your personal allowance which automatically reduces the income tax you owe.

If your initial tax code was 1257L and you claim the working from home allowance your tax code will normally be adjusted upwards to 1288L in the year of your claim meaning that you won’t have to pay tax on the first £12,880 you earn.

1288L tax code and the working from home allowance

After a successful claim HMRC will update your tax code with the WFH allowance which will remain in your tax code for all future tax years unless you ask HMRC remove it or HMRC has a different reason to not give you the allowance.

The working from home allowance is worth £6 per week which provides a tax relief of £1.20 per week for basic rate taxpayers, £2.40 for higher rate taxpayer and £2.70 for those paying tax at the additional rate.

The basic personal allowance can be changed by the government. If the basic personal allowance of £12,570 is modified to a different amount and your tax code is 1288L the working from home allowance might not be the sole reason for having that tax code.

Checking and changing your 1288L tax code with HMRC

It is always advisable to review your tax code if you are uncertain about what it means to avoid any future tax underpayment or overpayment issues.

When examining your 1288L tax code it is important to consider whether you have applied for the working from home allowance.

In addition if you make a successful claim for a different tax code allowance like the uniform washing allowance expect your tax code to move up accordingly.

Using online resources such as the HMRC app or your personal tax account let’s you find out more information about your code and can save you having to make a phone call to HMRC.

If you need to ask for the removal of the working from home allowance or make a different adjustment to your tax code you can contact HMRC online or by phone.

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