How to Calculate Tax Codes

Written by nathan adler
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How to Calculate Tax Codes
Calculating UK tax codes is quite simple. (tax defined image by Christopher Walker from

Tax codes may seem like a jumble of letters and numbers but they are actually surprisingly straightforward. Most of the time, a code will look something like this: 170L. The number is one tenth of the amount you can make before you need to pay taxes, 170 means £1700. The letter is a special code that signifies your tax and deduction status. Because of their relative simplicity, it isn't hard to calculate your own codes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tax information
  • Income records

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Add up all of your tax allowances.

  2. 2

    Total all income that hasn't been taxed and any taxable non-income.

  3. 3

    Subtract the total of step two from the total of step one; this is your total tax-free income.

  4. 4

    Divide your tax-free income by 10 and drop any remainder, this becomes the number part of your tax code.

  5. 5

    Find the letter part of your tax code by assessing your personal situation. Most people in normal situations are L but older people are P,V or Y and many small business owners are BR.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult a tax guide to verify the letter part of your code, the number part is easy but the letter can be tricky.

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