Guide: UK Student Tax Exemptions

Are you working while a student?

If you are working as a student you may be due a tax exemption. If you don’t find an answer to your question below, please send us an E-mail

I am a full time student in the UK. Can I claim a tax exemption?
Almost all working students can claim a tax exemption. Most students only work part time or in the summer/ Christmas holidays and as a result they are exempt from paying any tax if they earn below the annual tax free allowance.

Is all my income student tax exempt?
If you earn below the tax free allowance (£6,475 in the 2009/2010 tax year) then you are exempt from paying any tax on your income. If your employer has taken tax from your wages you will be able to claim it all back. If you earn above the tax free allowance, you may still be due a tax refund. Use our tax rebate to check.

How can I calculate my student tax rebate?
Once you finish working, your employer should give you a P45. Alternatively in April, at the end of the tax year, you will be given a P60. Using these documents you can calculate your tax refund by putting the total income and tax figures into the tax refund calculator

I was not given a P45/P60 from my employer. Can I still claim a tax rebate?
Yes. Request a ‘statement of earnings’ from your current or previous employer. They are required by law to provide you with this document, which is a sufficient replacement for a lost P60 or P45 for the Inland Revenue.

I am a foreign student. Can I claim an International tax exemption from the Inland Revenue?
Yes – both international students and students from the UK are able to claim a tax rebate if they earn less than the tax free allowance of £6,475 in the 2009/2010 tax year.

I finished studying just under 2 years ago. Have I missed my chance to make a tax rebate claim?
No. There is a 6 year deadline, so if you worked as a student anytime in the last 6 years, there is a good chance that you can make a claim for any tax that you paid while working.

How do I claim my UK student exemption?
There are two ways to make a claim. You can make a claim yourself or you can use a tax rebate agent such as TaxFix. If you are claiming yourself, you will need:

  • Any P45/P60’s
  • A P91 – Employment History form
  • P85/P86 – Leaving/Entering the UK forms
  • Covering Letter
  • Form P38(S) – Inland Revenue Student Tax Exemption Form

Once you have all the applicable documents listed above, send them to your local tax office. If you do not want to make the claim yourself, a tax refund agent will obtain all the information required on your behalf and submit your claim to the Inland Revenue.

Can I claim a National Insurance rebate if I am a student?
If you are a student resident in the UK you can claim a National insurance rebate.


  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello I have been a student for the last two years but I was employed before then and paying taxes. Last year I did not file any tax forms and the tax office said I had to and now they are charging me around £600 for sending in late a form that I was supposed to send in October. I have not received any income for the past two years and all my savings have gone into my studies. Is there anything I can do to fight the £600 fee?

    Thank you.

  2. Sri says:

    I am in full time employment (paying higher tier tax). I am considering doing an MBA part time. Is there any tax exemptions that I can claim?

    Thank you in advance

  3. Leanne says:

    Hi, I am a full time student and work part time and dont pay any tax or NI. Can you confirm if my NI is paid for me whike being a student? as it will determine what maternity allowance I will be entitled to,

  4. arimida says:

    I’m 29 year old student in the EU in Slovakia and I worked in the uk six months from marca to September 2012 can I claim tax return or exemption from tax

  5. M says:


    I am an international full time student in UK. I have bought few items online from a website. And when I recieved them, I was informed that I have to pay tax for those items as they were around 50 pounds. The tax was 20% of the price minus shipping charges. So, I went to the post office and I paid it in person. Then I was told that I could be exempted from that as I am an international student in the uk. I looked online, but I couldn’t find any sources to get help. Could you please tell me if there is any way to get the refund as it was not very long ago.(maybe a month) . And if next time I wanted to buy something online from USA, how can I not pay the tax at the post office ? What are the needed documents? The things I bought were all personal stuff like books.


  6. claire says:

    I am working full time in a nursing home, i am currently looking into geting my NVQ, i have heard that if you are working full time and studying that i might be able to get reduced tax or get a refund on my tax? if this is true, how do i go about it?
    thank you

  7. Anonym says:

    Hi there.

    I have two jobs and i get paid less than 6000 pounds a year, is there a way to stop paying 20% tax on my second job as it is affecting my ability to pay my tuition fees as an international student.

    Thanks a lot.

  8. Anon says:

    Hi I finished Uni in May and started working in June. It is now September and I have not been charged any tax yet. Is this normal?

  9. Daniel David says:

    I am employed full time but study part time at degree level. The course cost for full/part time is the same. Am I entitled to any kind of tax exemption?

  10. Um says:

    I usually work one day a week, but now i’ve finished college until september. I’m only 17, and keep getting told different things about whether or not I should be paying tax.

  11. Em says:

    I am a full time student and already have a part time job for which i am not taxed, however i start a second part time job in august, is it possible to sort it so i am not taxed on this job either? or do i have to claim it back later?

  12. Kate says:

    I am a student doing an EVents Management degree at Sheffield university. I have just started a work placement in London , which is directly related to my degree. It is a paid placement, £16000 for the year. My question is can I claim tax relief for travel which is £ 1400 for the year on the tube alone, and can I claim for accomodation allowance which is £500 per month.
    Many thanks

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have a council tax exemption letter from my university, where do I submit this to?


  14. Elle says:

    I was wondering if i can get out of paying tax completely rather than having to go through the reclaiming process? It would be good if I never had to pay it in the first place

  15. S. Anderson says:


    I am currently a student in my second year, and I am doing a placement for 12 months starting in July, do I have to pay council tax????


  16. stefanie says:

    Hi I was wondering should i be getting taxed and if so can i reclaim it. i am a full time university student but i work as many hours as possible when i am not in uni as a result i work around 20 hours a week however at the moment i am off uni and am working between 30 and 40 hours a week

  17. hannah sophia says:

    if i work 30 hours and go college part time will i get taxed?

  18. Molly J says:

    I am currently working full time and I plan to start a full time access to HE diploma in September (equivalent to a levels) whom top of my job. Will I be entitled to any tax exemption for being a student? I will be studying 21 hours a week and working 33 hours a week at £6.28 an hour

  19. Jonathan says:

    Hi I am a postgraduate student currently funding myself, i currently earn around 550-700 a month whilst studying full time. I am paying my fees monthly installments which is 400 a month would I be able to get a tax exemption or do i still havce to pay?

  20. Alex says:

    If I am receiving government funding for a full-time PhD but I also have a part-time job which pays considerably less than the tax free allowance, do I have to pay tax? (the combined amount takes me above the tax-free allowance)

  21. Anna says:

    I am a British Student who works on Holidays. Do I have to present to my employer the letter from Uni saying that I am on Holiday so I can wrk more than 20 h?
    I thought this was a requirement for the foreign students who are limited by the visa. However, my employer asked for it.

  22. steve says:

    Hello,i am currently employed doing 50 hours a week,but also do a full time evening course at college..I have heard i can get help with paying less income tax/national insurance.Is this information true,please help?

  23. Christiana says:

    I am an international external student currently living in the uk, am I allowed council tax exemption? Basically I failed my second year and I am repeating the year as an external student. I am not working, just studying.

  24. Anon says:

    If I’ve been living in the UK for 2years does that mean when I’m applying for uni have apply at the international section even though I have indefinite leave to remain

  25. Clare says:

    I am registered as a full time PhD student in my 5th year making amendments- I also currently work full time, can I get any tax rebate or national insurance rebate?

  26. 1234 says:

    im a full time student at university with 2 part time jobs, will i have to pay tax because i have 2 jobs?

  27. Wan says:

    I have a job on the side during hols and also at uni, am I liable to pay tax?

  28. JimBob says:

    I am at uni and also have a job during the 7 weeks summer holiday. I am paid £300 weekly and it’s undeclared earnings. I feel guilty about it and am worried I am breaking the law in some way. Am I? What could happen if someone ‘grassed’ me please?


  29. omar says:

    can i work full time in summer holy days

  30. Abby says:

    can I still have free dental care while I am a student age 19,my denist has told me I have to pay now ?

  31. Dragos says:

    Just wondering if i am studding with a private company,like Train4Trade skills does that make me a full time student or can i apply for any kind of tax exempt?

  32. Poor Student says:


    I have been working in my part time job since 2007. I remember I was on emergency tax for a few months and then back to normal.
    I applied for tax refund as I was a FT Uni student. was expecting around 500+ but only received a cheque of 250 and that was for 2007.

    So the question is: If in doubt can i ask for further invistigation/refund for 2007? if yes what forms/procedures am i looking at ?

    Many thanks for your helpful advice

  33. buragwit says:

    hello i am a student in uk i am working and earning more than 6000pounds per year. what worries me is that i am not paying tax, eventhough i exceed my income limit. Am i going to get penalized? coz until now i havent recieved any letter from the hmreveneu.. what shall i do? can you help me?

    • TaxFix says:

      buragwit: Your employer should normally deduct taxes for your via PAYE. Are you earning less than £6,475 during the total tax year?

  34. Moonlight says:

    I am working full time and am doing a science access course (not related to my job) in my spare time and want to do a diploma in nutrition. Can I claim a tax rebate? can I also claim national insurance rebate?

  35. Full time student. says:

    I’m a full time student, but also have 2 jobs, and I haven’t earned over 6000, should I still get taxed?

    I was just wondering because I’m a full time student and will I get taxed even if I earn over 6000?

    Also while I’m in full time education will both jobs be tax free while I earn under 6000, but If I go over 6000 will I have to pay emergency tax on a job of my choice?


  36. richendar nanda says:

    hi iam an international student… Currently iam working with pizza express. I would like to know, can i work in two places at the same time or no?

  37. Amber says:

    Hi when i started working i was a full time student at college, i wasnt aware at the time i started working that a student doesnt have to pay tax apparently. I have my end of year P45 for 2 years work.

    Can you help at all? x

    • TaxFix says:

      Amber: Students may have to pay tax, it depends on how much they earn in the tax year. Do you remember how much you earned each year?

  38. Isabella SO says:

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I would like to know if a student who rents an apartment here, does she need to pay tax for the apartment she rents?


  39. Amalia says:

    Hi!. I started working in april 2010 and left UK (and my job) in November. Could I claim my taxes back if my total gross paid was £6,700? I already have my P45 and would like to use an agent but you only process claims with an average tax rebate of £1,220. What could I do if I’m outside UK now? Thank you

  40. Sissi1111 says:

    I’m an international student doing the full time paid placement in uk now. Can I have another job during my placement period? PS. My visa shows “limited leave to remain in the uk. No recourse to public funds. Able to work as authorised by the secretary of state. Report extension to the police”

  41. Jordan says:

    Hi, I am a Part-time Student, working full time and carrying out a modern apprenticeship in Scotland. Do I perhaps qualify for any tax deduction or rebate; council or national insurance?

  42. Student 21 says:

    I worked full time as part of a sandwich course at university and earned over the taxable allowance. The following year while back at university I worked part time and did not exceed my taxable allowance for that year. Can I claim back on the tax I paid during my work experience?

    • TaxFix says:

      Student 21: Even though you earned over the tax free allowance you may still be due a tax refund in that year. If you earned below the tax free allowance you will be able to claim back all the tax from that year. You can claim your tax refund by applying here.

  43. Student 16 says:

    I am a full time sixth former. I have been offered a job for 4 hours a week which runs outside and inside schhol holidays. I will only get £2,000 per year. Can I use form P38 to be exempt from tax?

    • TaxFix says:

      Student 16: Yes, if you earn under the tax free allowance (currently £6,475) you should not be paying any tax. Send your P38 to your local tax office and remember to claim back a refund for any overpayment.

  44. Anonymous says:

    i am an international student on work placement year while on sandwich degree. Can i do additional job while doing work placement?

    • TaxFix says:

      Anonymous: You will need to check the stipulations of your visa. If you are able to work you can claim a tax rebate when you leave the UK.

  45. wal says:

    hi.i am student in uk and still studying and doing part time work for last two years and didn’t claim any tax.
    1)When i will claim back my all tax while leaving this country ?
    2)while studying in here can i claim tax every year?

  46. jkwondo says:

    i am a student, so therfore, i should be able to calim NI insurance and tax back. however, this does not seem to be the case. can i not claim everything back if i have been working part time during univeristy semesters and full times during hollidays. as i have been told even if it is over £6000 i can cliam some tax back. also I have different tax codes on each of my statemen of earnings forms. ime very confused

    • TaxFix says:

      jkwondo: It does not matter if you are a student, what matters is the amount that you earn. Most students do not earn above the tax free allowance and so can therefore claim back all tax. You can use our tax rebate calculator to see if you are due a tax rebate.

  47. Mich says:

    Hi, I’m an international student without NI number. (as I have never worked in UK)
    I opened up savings account and am wondering how to claim tax back on my interest?
    In the forms that I can download, it needs NI number which I do not have.
    It will be great if you can help!

  48. Freond says:

    I am a non-EU overseas student. I have a work placement in my University as part of my 4 years degree at the same University. I also have to pay tuition fee (international student rate) whilst I am on my work placement.

    Can it be classified as scholarship, and can it be be exempt from Income Tax and National Insurance?

    • TaxFix says:

      Freond: How much do you earn a year? If it is below £6,475 you can claim back all your tax. If you earn more you can still possibly claim a tax refund.

  49. Anonymous says:

    can you work full time while in receipt of a full time student grant?

  50. Anonymous says:

    Hello, my question is if i have a second job how much tax i have to pay?


    • TaxFix says:

      Anonymous: If you get a second job you will normally be put on an emergency tax code (BR). The amount of tax you need to pay will depend on how much you earn in the tax year in total for both jobs. Often when you work two jobs you can over pay tax, and so you should check at the end of the tax year when you get your P60’s.

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