Claiming Back Emergency Tax

What is emergency tax?

If you start a new job and your employer does not know what tax code to put you on, then an emergency tax code may be issued.

Emergency Tax Codes

There are a number of emergency tax codes. You will be able to recognise if you are on such a code if on your pay slip your tax code has a suffix or prefix of BR, X, WK1 or MTH1.

When you commence employment for the first time, your employer should ask you to fill in a P46 form. Until your employer gets this form back you will be on an emergency tax code. The consequence of being on one of the emergency tax codes is that you will only be entitled to the basic personal allowance; it does not take into account any entitlement to other allowances or possible reliefs in your monthly pay cheque. If you are put on an emergency tax code it will be applied from the first week, meaning that earnings will be ignored from previous months and each pay period is looked at individually.

How much is Emergency Tax?

Until your employer receives your P46 form back they will be forced to keep you on an emergency tax code. Many people ask us ‘How much is Emergency Tax?’ It is tax at the full 22% basic rate, which will be deducted from your pay.

What do I need to do if emergency tax affects me?

If you are paying emergency tax or have done so anytime in the last 6 years and want to claim it back, you can apply online for your emergency tax refund.


  1. Ben says:

    I have never been taxed before and just started a new jon that earns over £10,000 a year. They have put me on emergency tax but because i made no taxable money last year i have been advised i shouldnt actaully have to pay tax at all. could you clear up for me

    • DavidTaxFix says:

      If you earn less than 10,000 pounds within the tax year, you shouldn’t pay any tax. If you do pay tax you can claim a rebate.

  2. kelly says:

    i work 2 jobs the first for 16 hours the second for 10 hours.why am i paying tax?my tax code is br norm

    • TaxFix says:

      kelly: How much do you earn a year? For the 2013/2014 tax year, you can earn £9449 without paying any tax. Often second jobs are put on a BR (emergency tax code) and as a result you can overpay tax.

  3. Matt says:

    Hi. I just started a new job and my employer didn’t receive my P45 in time so I have been taxed Emergency Tax this month. Will I receive an adjustment / repayment in next month’s salary or will I have to apply for it?

    • TaxFix says:

      At the end of the tax year you should be given a P60 (or a P45 if you quit before then). You can use these documents to check if you have overpaid tax, and if you have you can claim a tax refund.

  4. graham says:

    i have my pension on BR rate and my normal wage on 810L will i be able to claim tax back in april

    • TaxFix says:

      graham: It depends on how much you have earned and how much you have paid in tax. Normally your second source of income will be on an emergency tax code, if your primary one is receiving the allowance.

  5. daz john says:

    i started a new job on october last year , i was on emergency tax until feb 2013 will i get that tax back .

    • TaxFix says:

      daz john: You can make a claim for any over payment of emergency tax at the end of the tax year (April 6th), after you are given your P60.

  6. Jacquie says:

    I recently paid an employee too much theough sage payroll and need to claim it back. The employee is on 810L taxcode wk1 mth1 how can I adjust?

  7. Mandy says:


    My boyfriend has been working offshore, on and off, since March 2012. Ive just noticed that some of his wage slips have a OT tax code? Is this an emergency tax code? And will he be due a tax refund because of this code?


  8. tina says:

    I was working two jobs last year and was taxed on both jobs. However, I have since received a letter from the tax office that I owe £1000 in tax, as I have underpaid tax. Surely this is not my mistake? And now I am in employment where I my tax code is 810L MT1 I am assuming this is an emergency tax code. What should I do?


    • TaxFix says:

      tina: You can ask HMRC to calculate why they think you have underpaid tax and then reconcile this with your own figures. If you have underpaid tax you will need to pay the extra tax. If you have not you can contest it with HMRC.

  9. Cath says:

    Could you please tell me what the letters MT1 means after my tax code of 810L

  10. Stuart says:

    I currently work full time, but on my days off I work a second job which I also pay tax on and my tax code on the second job is BR, can I claim a tax rebate back or does all second jobs have this Tax code?
    Thanks in advance.

  11. Sinead says:

    I have started a christmas contract job in dunnes and iv been told i will be emergency taxed for the first two weeks even though i gave them my P45. How much would emergency tax be on a 300euro week wage? and also when will i get this money back?

  12. Veronika says:

    Hi, I am working more then 3 years for only one employer and had always tax code 810L but this month they have changed my tax code for BR X. What is the reason? Why have they changed it? I have not changed any job since 2009 and i dont do 2sc job.Thanx for answer

  13. sarah says:

    hi ive just a started a new job and i’ve been emergency taxed, ive just recieved my new tax code which i have given my employer does any one know how long it will take to sort out as i dont want to be emergeny taxed for a 2nd month. thanks

  14. georgia says:

    how do i get my tax back when im on emergency tax

  15. nicola says:

    how long after sending away the form do you have to wait to get the full amount of emergency tax back into your bank account?

  16. hannah says:

    I’ve been paying emergency tax since i started in august, i filled out a p45 form at work, my boss says my tax will come back in my next pay day, is this for definite or does it depend how long it takes

  17. leeann says:

    Hi I am on emergancy tax, I filled out a p46 and my employeer faxed it to the tax office on monday. I was just wondering how long will it take for me to get a new tax code?

  18. fiona says:

    hi, how long will it take to recieve emergency tax after applying?

  19. sharna says:

    Will I have to pay.emergancy tax at my new job if so how long till I can.claim back

  20. nabeel says:

    hi i have worked for the olympics and paralympics. they havnt asked for my p45 form, and i have been getting emergency tax which is alot of money. will i be able to claim it back?

  21. Clarke says:

    I have one job and im on tax code BR. what should i do? Thanks

  22. john says:

    I was on incapacity benefit for 3 1/2 years until I started work on 6th July 2012 I never got a P45 from incapacity benefit when I closed my claim and my employe has n
    not given me a P46 form to sign and i am on emergency tax now how do i get of emergency tax

  23. Will says:

    I was told I needed a p45 from my previous employer, which was the job center, before I could claim my emergency tax back. The problem is that I had already sent this to my new employers wages department and have not received any word back (this was months ago). Now I can’t get hold of another p45 as everyone I phone passes me to someone else. Have I been misinformed somewhere along the way?

  24. robert says:

    I have just received a letter from the tax office,saying I am on tax BR,but i have just tupe over from one company to another,should my tax code have changed.

  25. Lorraine says:

    im a student and work casually at uni (earn roughly £50 every time I do an event so not much at all). I took on a temp job recently so I wanted to split the tax code. How do I make sure I am not taxed too much? I gave my temp employer a p46 but it has notbeen processed yet and when it does Iwill have probably left there. Can I claim it back and how much will I be taxed initially?

  26. chris says:

    When you say emergancy taxt is at 22% is this 22% of the amount after you take the £6475 from value or 22% of your full salary ?

  27. Elaine says:


    I have recently started a new job however I am technically still employed at the previous job in a school and therefore am still going to be paid for the summer holidays.
    My new employers will not receive my P45 until probably the middle of September. What does this mean in terms of tax? They are wondering whether to put me on basic tax or emergency tax. If I have to pay emergency tax on both wages will I be able to claim any of it back? Thank you.

  28. chris says:

    I done some tempory work approx 2 months few days here and there about 7 months ago i now have a new full time job i started about 5 months ago my previouse tempery boss has asked me to sign a p46 after having a visit from hmrc a few days ago, what does this mean has he paid my taxes or not set up rite? am i liable to pay if they didnt pay my taxes or do i have to sign this form even tho im not employed by him and havn’t been in 5 months?

  29. Luke Grimes says:

    hi i have just started a job in a care home as a kitchen assistant and they said i am on emergency tax. what now? how much will i get took of me i only work 6 hours per week and how do i claim it back please help. thank you

  30. samantha richards says:

    i have been emergency taxed for a while i have sent off forms and emails but not heard anyting! i am applying again for a rebate as i am very short of money now and do not understand after 3 years in the same job i am being emergency taked ?

  31. Lauren says:

    Hi, I have recently got another job and was told I need to put the lowest paying job on emergency tax. How do I do this and how does this affect me?

  32. Anonymous! says:

    I started a new job two months ago and for both of my pay days I have been emergency taxed, I have rang up and been given a new tax code, when will I get my refund?

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