How Much Is Emergency Tax in 2011?

Are you on an emergency tax code?

If your employer doesn’t know enough about your income or tax details then you may be put onto an ‘emergency tax code’.  This ensures you pay some tax although it doesn’t take into account your specific tax reliefs and allowances.

But what is an emergency tax code?  When might you end up on an emergency tax code?  And how much is emergency tax in 2011?  Keep reading to find out.

What is an emergency tax code?

You will be put on an emergency tax code by employer if HMRC does not have enough information about your income to enable them to send your employer (and you) your correct tax code.

An emergency tax code ensures that you receive the basic Personal Allowance (and therefore some tax-free pay) but it doesn’t take into account any other tax allowances or tax reliefs you may be entitled to.

When might I be put on an emergency tax code?

You might be put on an emergency tax code if:

  • You were self employed and have now started a new job
  • You have started a new job but you don’t have your P45 from your previous employer
  • Your tax code has changed during the year (for example if you have stated to receive company benefits)
  • You have started your first job since the start of the tax year

How much is emergency tax 2011/2012?

The emergency tax code is set each year and changes on an annual basis as the Personal Allowance changes.  It is a number followed by the letter ‘L’.

The number represents the basic Personal Allowance divided by ten.  In the 2011/12 tax year, the basic Personal Allowance is £7,475 and so the emergency code for 2011-12 is therefore 747L.  This means that you can earn up to £7,475 in the current tax year before you start paying income tax.

Coincidentally, 747L is also the tax code for someone who is entitled to just the basic Personal Allowance in 2011/12.  If your tax code is 747L it doesn’t automatically mean you are on an emergency tax code.

Getting the right tax code

It is advisable for you to provide any information requested by your employer or HMRC as soon as possible so you can get onto the correct tax code as quickly as you can.  If you don’t you could end up paying too much or too little tax.

Once HMRC has details of your previous income and the tax you have paid for the tax year, they will send you and your employer your correct tax code. Your employer will deduct the correct tax in future and refund any overpaid tax.

If you have been on an emergency tax code you may well have paid too much tax.  If you think you’ve paid too much tax you should claim a refund by contacting HM Revenue and Customs. You’ll need to provide them with your P60 form.


  1. marc says:

    been with my employer for 8 years on the 747L tax code but for the last 29 weeks they have given me the 650L wk1 mth1 tax code, any ideas as my job or status has not changed in the last 8 years, thanks, marc.

  2. Kelly says:

    I am at Uni in full time education but recently started an 8hour per week part time job, for which i am being emergency taxed. I have now filled in a P46 and am aware that i will get the money back at somepoint, either from my employer inlnd revenue. Just i am basically working for nothing meantime and didnt think students in f/t education paid tax. Is that wrong and do i have to request my tax back from my employer or will be done as a metter of course? Many thanks in advance.

  3. Tax Fix says:

    Mark – thanks for your question.

    This is called a ‘week 1 emergency tax code’.

    This tax code will give you the remainder of your tax-free Personal Allowance spread over the rest of the tax year. HMRC assumes that you’ve already received some tax-free income in the period before you started your job or your tax code changed.

    A ‘week 1’ emergency code treats each week on its own and gives you an equal amount of tax-free pay every payday. However, as HMRC can’t take into account changes in your income or tax which may have happened earlier in the year, your tax may not be exactly right at the end of the tax year.

  4. Mark Davies says:

    My emergency tax code says 747L W1. What does this mean?

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