What is the 2023/24 PAYE tax code? What do the different types of tax code suffixes mean?

This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to PAYE codes for 2023-24. 

Details of the PAYE codes for 2023-24 are as follows.

  • The basic PAYE tax code is set at 1257L for employees. This gives an employee a personal allowance of £12,570 for the year, which has remained unchanged.
  • 1257L is also called the 'emergency code' when operated on a non-cumulative basis.
  • This is the most common tax code for individuals with one job or a pension. The L suffix means that the individual is entitled to the standard personal allowance.
  • Employees who earn more than £125,140 receive no personal allowance and should be on an 0T tax code (see below).
  • Employees who earn between £100,000 and £125,140 have their personal allowance tapered away. It is reduced by £1 for every £2 in excess of £100,000.
  • Employees who have claimed the Marriage allowance, by virtue of a low-earning spouse or civil partner, have a PAYE code with a suffix of M. Those who surrender the allowance have a suffix of N.

Employees who are Scottish Taxpayers have the prefix S. The higher rate threshold in Scotland is £43,663 in 2023-24 (again unchanged from 2022-23), compared to £50,270 in the rest of the UK.

Employees who are Welsh Taxpayers have the prefix C. The higher rate threshold in Wales is the same as that for England and Northern Ireland at £50,270.

What tax code do I use for 2023-24?

If the employee is a starter or casual worker complete the Starter Checklist.

Otherwise use 1257L for employees unless:

  • Notification of a different code is advised by HMRC.
  • The employee's code was not the basic code last year, in which case expect the code to be the same as last year unless otherwise notified by HMRC.

It is advisable to double-check with HMRC and if in doubt check online or phone the tax office.

What is the 'emergency' tax code for 2023-24?

  • 1257L is the default code.
  • Codes may then be suffixed with W1 (weekly pay), M1 (monthly pay) or X (weekly, monthly or non-standard pay period).
  • These codes are non-cumulative. Tax is calculated for that period only.

What is the code ending in 0T?

This means that the employee has not been given any allowances against tax. This is most likely because the employer has probably not been given the employee's starting information, they are a casual worker or earn over £125,140 (where the personal allowance is no longer available).

Code 0T does not apply tax at a flat rate (like codes BR, D0 and D1, below). Code 0T takes account of the basic, higher and additional rate bands meaning that some tax may be paid at 40% and 45%, as well as 20%, depending on the level of earnings.  

What are some of the other letter suffixes I may see?

BR All income from this income stream is taxed at the basic rate.

D0 All income from this income stream is taxed at the higher rate.

D1 All income from this income stream is taxed at the additional rate. Noting that the additional rate threshold is reduced to £125,140 from 6 April 2023.

K There is more income to be taxed (usually Benefits In Kind) and this is more than the personal allowance (this is effectively a negative tax code).

NT There is no tax to pay on this income stream.

T Other calculations have been included to work out the personal allowance available.

Why should I check my tax code?

It is said that less than 80% of employees bother to check their PAYE code. It is foolish not to check it, as it won't bite you.

  • If your code is lower or higher than expected you need to find out why.
  • It may have been adjusted by HMRC to code out underpayments of tax in previous tax years, see PAYE collection of tax debts.
  • If you receive any benefits from employment or do more than one job, or receive investment income and are a higher-rate taxpayer you should find that your PAYE code is restricted in some way. 
  • Home-working: have you claimed your Working from home allowance?
  • Have HMRC included tax relief for any other Employment expenses claimed
  • If your taxable benefits are not adjusted for on your PAYE code it may be that there is an error or your employer may be Payrolling your benefits. Check with your employer first.
  • If you fail to check your code you may pay the wrong amount of tax. Do not rely on HMRC to provide you with the correct code.
  • HMRC have launched an Interactive tool to help taxpayers check and understand their tax codes. It also provides guidance as to how to get your code changed if you think it is incorrect. 

See How to check your PAYE code.


Pensioners no longer qualify for any additional age allowance.

Married pensioners, where one person is over 88 (born before 6 April 1935), may receive the married couples allowance (MCA). There is only one allowance per couple and this may be restricted. Even if the maximum allowance is available it is a tax reducer, not a full allowance so only half the allowance is used to calculate the code. The MCA can add up to 518 to the tax code (for a maximum MCA of £10,375).

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