What is a P60?​

A P60 End of Year Certificate is a handy little piece of HMRC paperwork that shows how much you’ve been paid in a given tax year. On top of that, your P60 will also show the tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs) taken out of your pay through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system.

When you work “on the books” (as opposed to being self-employed, for instance), you’ll get a form called a P60 by the 31st of May after the tax year ends. You should keep hold of it, too. When you find yourself getting up close and personal with the taxman, it’s often critical that you can prove how much money you’ve made and how much tax you’ve paid. Your P60 is basically the simplest and best way to do exactly that.

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What is a P60?Why do I need my P60?

When you find yourself getting up close and personal with the taxman, your P60 is the simplest and best way to prove how much money you’ve made and how much tax you’ve paid.

Any time you need to show someone cast-iron proof of your income and tax situation, your P60 is your best friend. Not only that, but you can often find yourself needing to check those details yourself. Just to pick out a few common examples, you might need to use your P60 to:

Getting a P60?How do I get a P60 and when?

Getting a P60 isn’t something you’ll usually need to stress out over. When you’re paid through PAYE, you’re supposed to be sent a P60 form every year. It’ll usually come within a couple of weeks of the tax year ending.

A quick word about “tax years”, in case you’re not clear on what that means. For strange reasons involving a change in the calendar and 11 whole days that went missing in September of 1752, the UK tax year runs from the 6th of April in one calendar year to the 5th of April in the next. Yes, it’s weird and a little awkward. If you don’t like it, you’ll have to take it up with Pope Gregory XIII.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, if you reach the end of May and haven’t seen your P60 yet, it’s time to chase up your employer.

InformationWhat information is on my P60?

Your P60 features quite a lot of information about you and your financial situation. HMRC naturally needs to be sure it’s talking to the right person, so a lot of what’s in your P60 is about your identity. Your name will be there, obviously, along with your National Insurance and payroll numbers.

The rest of the P60 deals with everything HMRC knows about your PAYE earnings and tax. Crucially, there’ll be a breakdown of the Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions deducted from your earnings in the tax year.

That’s not the end of it, though. Depending on your circumstances, you might also find details of any Statutory Sick Pay or Maternity Pay you’ve received. If you’re repaying a Student Loan, that’ll show up here as well.

Checking your P60What should I check on my P60?

A P60 contains a lot of important information, particularly if you're claiming a tax rebate from HMRC.

  • The basics
    The first thing to check is that HMRC has your basic information right. That means things like your name, National Insurance number, payroll number. These are details the taxman uses to uniquely identify you, so they need to be 100% correct.
  • Your tax code
    HMRC uses your tax code to work our important things like how much you can earn tax-free in a year. Being on the wrong code can cause all kinds of problems with your tax, so it needs to be correct. Read more about tax codes here and get in touch with RIFT if you’re worried about yours. If it’s wrong, we can get it fixed for you.
  • Total pay and tax for the year
    This is where the real “meat” of your P60 is. When you’re claiming a tax rebate, it’s vital to have accurate records about your pay, tax and National Insurance Contributions.
  • Everything else
    Once you’ve checked all the basic points are correct, it’s time to look at the other information included in your P60. This is where you’ll make sure the entries are correct for any statutory payments (Maternity/Paternity Pay, for example) and Student Loan deductions that apply to you.

Tax AdviceHow do I correct my P60?

If you see a mistake in your P60, it’s time to act. According to HMRC, it’s entirely your responsibility to let them know there’s something wrong – even if the mistake was someone else’s!

To make things worse, even foul-ups at HMRC can leave you with fines and other penalties because of simple errors. Never just assume your P60’s correct. If it looks wrong, kick up a fuss.

For example, imagine if your employer makes a mistake in your P60 and takes too little tax out. That’s not a windfall – it’s a pitfall. It’s your job to notice the problem and get it cleaned up. You need to do it fast, too. HMRC penalties can really stack up over time.

Even if HMRC agrees that you didn’t do anything wrong, you could still be in hot water. At the very least, you’ll have to pay any extra tax you owe because of the error. If you’ve filed a Self-Assessment tax return using dodgy figures from an incorrect P60, it can be even worse. That’s a short-cut to a full-on HMRC enquiry. The taxman has a range of penalties for people being careless with Self Assessment, and even innocent mistakes can get costly fast.

So, if you see a mistake in your P60, the first thing to do is get in touch with the payroll department at your work. A lot of P60 problems can be sorted out by simply getting a replacement document with the details corrected. If it’s too late and you’ve already had the wrong tax taken out via PAYE, it’ll take a talk with the taxman to straighten things out. You can handle that yourself, or have a tax specialist like RIFT tackle HMRC on your behalf.

Knowing your tax documentsIs a P60 different from a P45?

Yes, despite some overlap, P60 and P45 forms give different information and are used for different things. If you’re claiming a tax rebate, you might find yourself needing both to get back everything you’re owed:

  • P60
    A form that shows everything you’ve earned during a given tax year, and all the tax and National Insurance you’ve paid on it.
  • P45
    A form you get when you leave a PAYE job. It only includes your pay and tax details up to the point your employment ended. You’ll need to show your P45 to your next employer to help them sort out the right tax code for you. See here for more on P45 forms.

What is a P60?Your P60 and tax rebates

When you’re claiming a tax rebate, whether for essential work expenses or because you only worked for part of the year, your P60 is a vital tool. It’s where you’ll see every penny HMRC has lopped off your earnings, so it should be the first place to check if you’ve paid too much tax. Comparing your P60 with your payslips will give you an early warning if something’s gone wrong in the way your tax has been paid. If it looks fishy, the free RIFT tax rebate calculator will quickly give you an estimate what you could claim back.

Quick AnswersCommon P60 FAQs

  • Can I claim a tax rebate without my P60s?

    A P60 is a really useful tool for claiming a tax rebate from HMRC, but you can still make a claim without one if necessary. When you’ve got RIFT working on your refund, there are other ways we can track down the information needed for your claim. We can use things like payslips and income statements, for instance – and can even get key information directly from HMRC.

  • I've lost my P60. What do I do?

    If you've lost your P60, grabbing a replacement P60 from your work shouldn’t be a major hassle. The same goes for P60s from previous years if you need those as well. Just talk to your employer and explain what you need. This can be a real boost to your tax refund if your claim stretches back over more than one year.

  • How do I use my P60 to get a tax refund?

    Since a P60 is the record of all the tax you've had deducted over a year, it’ll probably be your first tip-off that you’re owed a rebate in the first place. On top of that, it’s got a lot of the most important information needed to show HMRC that you've paid too much tax. To kick things off, compare your P60 to your payslips. If something doesn't add up, you’ve got your first clue right in your hands.

  • Do sole traders get P60s?

    Because a P60 is a record of your PAYE earnings and tax over a year, Sole Traders won’t usually get (or even need) them. Being self-employed, Sole Traders use Self Assessment tax returns instead of PAYE. Of course, it’s completely possible to be a Sole Trader but still also receive PAYE income from another job. In that case, you’ll still get a yearly P60 as normal from your PAYE employer.

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Umbrella CompanyP60s and Umbrella Companies

If you work through an umbrella company, you’re basically supplying your services through them instead of working for the “end employer”. That means your P60s will come from the umbrella company itself, rather than the firm you’re actually doing the work for. Essentially, the umbrella company is acting as your actual employer here.

Multiple JobsYour P60 when you've got more than one job

If you’ve got more than one employer, you should be getting a P60 from each after the end of the tax year. Tax rebates and other money issues can get a little more complicated when you’ve got multiple jobs, so make sure you know where to find all your P60 paperwork when you need it.

Being self-employedDo I get a P60 if I'm self-employed?

If you’re self-employed with no “on the books” income, you won’t be using the PAYE system to pay your tax and National Insurance Contributions. This means you won’t get a P60 form each year. Instead, you’ll use the Self-Assessment tax return system to handle all your tax paperwork. If you’re self-employed but also have a PAYE job, though, then your tax situation can be a little more complicated. Talk to RIFT if you’re not sure exactly where you stand.

Employer InformationI'm an employer. What do I need to know about P60s?

Putting people to work through the PAYE system involves filling out yearly P60 forms for each of them. Whether you do that on paper or digitally, the forms need to be in your employees’ hands or hard drives by the 31st of May.

If you’re running a Limited Company and paying yourself a salary, don’t forget that you’re officially employing yourself through the PAYE system. That means you need a P60 for yourself each year.

Starter ChecklistMy new employer has asked me to fill in a “Starter Checklist”. What does this mean?

If you’re starting your first job, or taking on a new job without quitting your old one, you might be asked to fill in a Starter Checklist. This is a replacement for the old P46 form you used to get. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The checklist is designed to help your employer work out your tax code. That’s one of the reasons why it’s so important. If your tax code’s wrong, it’s your responsibility to get it fixed – even if the mistake wasn’t yours!
  • The checklist will also contains some other important details that can impact the tax you’ll be paying. This includes things like whether you’re getting certain benefits, have another job or are currently paying off a Student Loan.

Our GuaranteeRIFT Tax Refunds are guaranteed!

When you claim your tax rebate with RIFT, our unique RIFT Guarantee means you never have to worry about the taxman reclaiming any of your refund money. So long as you give us full and accurate information, if HMRC disagrees with the amount we’ve claimed and asks for some money back, we’ll pay it ourselves. It won’t cost you a penny!

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