The Differnce Between a P45 a P60 and a P46

The Inland Revenue does not give their tax forms the most discrpitive of names. As a result it can be quite confusing to know the diffrenece between the various ones that you are given. This article will help to explain, in plain English, the difference between a P45, a P60 and a P46.


You will get a P45 when you stop working for a company, get laid off or quit for any reason, such as being fired. Your P45 will show various pieces of information including your PAYE reference code and how much you earned and paid in tax during the tax year.

Your P45 will be in 3 parts. When you find another job you should give parts 2 and 3 to your new employer. This will allow them to see how much tax you have paid and put you on the correct tax code. Often people loose their P45 or forget to give it to their employer. When this happens the employer is forced to put you on an emergency tax code which often means that you end up overpaying tax until you claim a  tax refund at the end of the tax year.

If you do not want show your employer your P45 because you want to keep your previous wage confidential then you can get around giving them your P45 by sending parts 2 and 3 to your tax office telling them where you are working. You should make sure that you do this as soon as possible otherwise you could be put on the wrong tax code.

If you are leaving the UK you should keep your P45 safe so that you can apply for a tax refund when you are ready. Be sure not to wait too long as tax refunds do expire.


p60 difference If you are working at the end of the tax year (5th April) you will recieve a P60 from your employer, anytime between 5th April and 1st June.

Your P60 is a statement which shows how much you have earned and how much you have paid in tax during the year.

Your P60 will show your tax code, national insurance number, tax paid, income and national insurance contributions from April 5th of the previous year until April 6th of the current year.

Your employer is required to give you a P60 and if they do not give you one after 1st June, you should enquire with your pay roll department.

Your P60 is a useful document because you can use it to see if you are due a tax refund at the end of the tax year. You can check if you are due a tax rebate by taking the ‘pay’ and ‘tax’ figures from your P60 and putting them into our online tax rebate calculator .

If you loose or are not given a P60, you can ask your employer for a statement of earnings on company headed paper. This will show the same information and can be used when applying for a tax rebate.


If you loose your P45 or were not given one by your employer, because they say, went bankrupt. You can give your new employer a P46 instead. You need to complete the P46, and once you have, give it to your new employer so that they can put you on the right tax code.


  1. graeme middleton says:

    my boss has just bought a 45% stake in company and is changing company name,they say i will be getting a p45 but all terms & conditions will stay the same as before because they will still be my employer..why the need for a p45??

  2. Diane says:

    When I started my present job,I didnt have my P45 so I was given a P46 to sign. When my P45 turned up I gave it to my new employer. Somehow it didnt get to payroll and I`ve been on the wrong tax code. I now have an underpayment outstanding.
    My emloyers wrote to the tax office and explained what had happened and they are now liable for the underpayment.However, they (employers) are telling me now that I still have to pay it because they wont and I signed a P46 so its my fault.
    Who is liable?
    Many thanks.

    • TaxFix says:

      Diane: HMRC says that it is the responsibility of the tax payer to make sure that they are paying the correct amount of tax.

  3. Philip Rushton says:

    Is a P60 a confidential document between employer and employee or is it ok for employees not in authority to view another employees document?

  4. Tadas says:

    Hi, I have worked for my employer for a few months as part time, and as far as I know my employer wasnt paying any tax for me but I still got payslips and they stated a tax code etc. Not sure what the reason was, maybe due that it was a new business? Well I got laid off now, and the employer wont give me p45, is he supposed to give it to me by law or not?

  5. emmaa says:

    I have been working for my employer for a few years now doing part time work. He is now requesting me to fill out a p46.what is the reason for this?

  6. Heather cowell says:

    What do |I do about my p45 if I have two part time jobs?

  7. Heather cowell says:

    What do |I do about my p45 if I have two part time jobs?

  8. gemma says:

    Hi. Ive been on income support for the past 2 years and have just started a new job.

    What do i need?

  9. basanta raj dahal says:

    i leave my first job before 14 months. and second job before 4 monts. now i am doing 3rd job. i have no idea how to claim my first and second jobs tax money. even i do not have p60 & p45………..suggest me please.

  10. gaz says:

    i worked for a employer few a couple of months last year,he deducted tax from my two months pay and when i received my p60 there was the amount i had earned but no tax had been taken off,surly thats not right …is it?

  11. Joey says:


    I dont want to mention my last job to a perspective new employer. I will not give them my P45 and instead will complete a P46. When the tax office respond back to my new employer after receiving the P46 will they mention details of tax paid during this tax year to date. If they do then that means that my new employer will know that I had a job this year. Am I correct?

  12. Anon says:

    My employer demands we fill a p46 in every year. We have been there for ten years plus. Can this look as if we renewing contract every year?

  13. backlinks says:

    Get up to 100000 forum backlinks with our backlinks service & massive targeted traffic Get large web traffic using best backlink service available. We are able post your marketing post up to 100

  14. Mary Watt says:

    Have been billed by HMRC for an underpayment of Tax for 2008/2009. I retired on 6/6/08 and went on to occupational pension and state pension. It seems that my occ pens provider did not use the correct code but standard code. What do I do now as HMRC state it is not their error and I am liable to pay £427 to them

  15. mahapa says:

    i am the director of the my company and i wanted to register for self employed for pay tax for dividend that i have recieved from my company.what is the reason that hmrv requesting me to send p46 and where i can get that thing..

  16. Glennis says:

    I work on a permanent part year contract for an airline. My contract finishes 31 Oct and have got a job in customer services until it starts again 01 April. My new employer wants a P45 which my current employer won’t give me all they will give me is a P60. Obviously my new employer wants to know why?
    I do not wish to stay at this new job it really is just to keep me in work until I go back in April but cannot advise my employer this. Will a P60 suffice or will they keep at me for a p45 and why will my existing employer not forward a p45. Is this due to continuous employement even though I am not getting paid from them

  17. zetty says:

    Hello there!

    I’ve quit my job in 2009 and went back to my home country until recently getting back I’ve returned to the same employer. However they wouldn’t take my P45s saying they are expired and instead gave me to fill out P46. I couldn’t find any information on expiration except regarding on tax refund which I would like to do since my earnings that year were well below my allowance. If I was to give them my P45 I’d receive the overpaid tax with my next salary — what do I have to do now, with my employer making me fill out P46?

    Thanks a bunch,

  18. Jayne Jones says:

    If you work for more than one employer and have given the first employer your P.45 from your previous employment what do you need to fill in to give a 2nd employer in order to avoid paying too much tax

Leave a Reply