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What is the 1257L Tax Code? What Does Tax Code 1257L Mean?

Updated: Jul 13

Understanding the 1257L Tax Code | Tax Code 1257L Explained

If you've ever looked at your payslip or tax documents and wondered, "What does tax code 1257L mean?" you're not alone. Understanding your tax code is crucial for ensuring you're paying the correct amount of tax and can help you manage your finances better.

Let's break down everything you need to know about the tax code 1257L, its implications, and why it's important.

what is 1257l tax code

What Does Tax Code 1257L Mean?

The tax code 1257L is widely recognised in the UK tax system. Here’s a detailed explanation of its components and implications:

1257: This numerical segment denotes your tax-free Personal Allowance, which for the tax year 2024/25 is £12,570. This allowance signifies the amount of income you can earn before being liable to pay Income Tax. To determine your tax-free amount, multiply this number by 10.

L: The inclusion of the letter 'L' signifies that you are eligible for the standard tax-free Personal Allowance. This means you are entitled to the standard amount of tax-free income as specified for the tax year.

Understanding these components helps in comprehending how the tax code 1257L impacts your tax obligations and entitlements in the UK.

How Does the Tax Code 1257L Affect Your Income?

The tax code 1257L directly influences how your income is taxed in the UK. Here’s a breakdown of its impact:

Tax-Free Allowance: With tax code 1257L, the first £12,570 of your annual income is tax-free. This amount represents your Personal Allowance, which means you do not have to pay any Income Tax on this portion of your earnings.

Taxation on Earnings Above £12,570: Income exceeding £12,570 is subject to Income Tax based on the following bands for the tax year 2023/24:

Basic Rate: 20% tax on income between £12,571 and £50,270.

Higher Rate: 40% tax on income between £50,271 and £125,140.

Additional Rate: 45% tax on income over £125,140.

Understanding your tax code, such as 1257L, ensures that you are aware of how much of your income is taxable and at what rates, thereby helping you manage your finances more effectively and avoid any potential tax errors.

Example of How Tax Code 1257L Works

Let's assume your annual income is £20,000 and your tax code is 1257L.

Tax-Free Allowance: The first £12,570 of your income is tax-free due to your Personal Allowance.

Taxable Income: To find out how much of your income is taxable:

Total Income: £20,000

Tax-Free Allowance: £12,570

Taxable Income = £20,000 - £12,570

Taxable Income = £7,430

how much tax on 1257l tax code

You pay 20% tax on the taxable income (£7,430).

Tax Amount:

Tax Rate: 20%

Taxable Income: £7,430

Tax Amount = 20% of £7,430

Tax Amount = £1,486

So, if you earn £20,000 per year with tax code 1257L:

  • The first £12,570 is tax-free.

  • You pay 20% tax on the remaining £7,430, which amounts to £1,486.

  • After tax, your net income would be £18,514 annually. *This does not include deductions for National Insurance Contributions.

This example demonstrates how understanding your tax code helps you calculate how much Income Tax you owe and what your net income will be after taxes.

Why Is Tax Code 1257L Important?

Tax code 1257L is important for several reasons:

Determines Tax-Free Allowance: The number '1257' in the tax code represents your tax-free Personal Allowance. This is the amount of income you can earn each tax year without paying any Income Tax. For example, for the tax year 2024/25, the Personal Allowance is £12,570. Knowing your tax-free allowance helps you understand how much of your income is exempt from taxation.

Calculates Taxable Income: Understanding your tax code helps you calculate your taxable income accurately. Once you deduct your tax-free allowance (£12,570 in this case) from your total income, the remaining amount is what is subject to Income Tax.

Avoids Underpayment or Overpayment: Using the correct tax code like 1257L ensures that you are paying the correct amount of tax throughout the year. If your tax code is incorrect, you could end up either underpaying or overpaying taxes, which may lead to financial penalties or unexpected tax bills.

Impacts Take-Home Pay: Your tax code directly affects how much you take home from your salary after taxes are deducted. By knowing your tax code, you can estimate your net income accurately and plan your finances accordingly.

Communication with Employers: Employers use your tax code to calculate how much Income Tax to deduct from your salary each pay period. Providing the correct tax code like 1257L ensures that your employer withholds the correct amount of tax from your earnings.

In summary, tax code 1257L is important because it determines your tax-free allowance, helps calculate taxable income, ensures accurate tax payments, affects your take-home pay, and facilitates proper communication between you and your employer regarding tax deductions. Understanding and using the correct tax code ensures compliance with tax regulations and efficient financial planning.

Am I on the Wrong/Right Tax Code?

Determining whether you are on the right or wrong tax code depends on several factors, and it's important to assess your specific circumstances:

Check Your Tax Code: First, verify your current tax code. You can find this information on your payslip, P60 (end of year tax summary), or through your personal tax account on the HMRC website.

Understand Your Tax Code: Each tax code consists of numbers and letters that indicate your personal tax-free allowance, any deductions, or special circumstances affecting your tax liability. For example, the standard tax-free allowance for the tax year 2024/25 is £12,570, represented by the number portion of the code.

Compare with HMRC Guidelines: Check HMRC guidelines to ensure your tax code aligns with your current financial situation. HMRC issues tax codes based on information such as your income, pension contributions, benefits, and other taxable allowances.

Consider Changes in Circumstances: If your circumstances have changed (e.g., you've started a new job, received a pay increase, or have additional sources of income), your tax code may need adjustment to reflect these changes accurately.

Seek Professional Advice: If you're unsure about whether your tax code is correct or need assistance in understanding its implications, consider seeking advice from a tax advisor or accountant, such as us at Ultra Tax Ltd. They can review your tax code, assess your income sources, and ensure you're paying the correct amount of tax.

Monitor Regularly: Tax codes can change over time, especially with changes in tax legislation or personal circumstances. Regularly review your tax code to ensure it remains accurate and up-to-date.

If you suspect your tax code is incorrect or have any concerns, it's essential to address them promptly to avoid potential underpayment or overpayment of taxes. Being on the right tax code ensures you're paying the correct amount of tax based on your current circumstances, which is crucial for financial planning and compliance with tax laws.

What To Do If Your Tax Code Is Wrong

is my tax code wrong

If you suspect or discover that your tax code is wrong, here are the steps you should take to address the issue:

Verify Your Tax Code: Check your tax code on your latest payslip, P60, or through your personal tax account on the HMRC website. Ensure you understand the numbers and letters that make up your tax code.

Gather Relevant Information: Collect any documents related to your income, such as payslips, pension statements, or benefits information. This helps in identifying discrepancies and providing accurate information to HMRC.

Contact HMRC: Reach out to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as soon as possible to discuss the issue. You can contact HMRC via phone, we have listed HMRC Contact Numbers here.

Provide Details to HMRC: When contacting HMRC, be ready to provide:

  • Your National Insurance number.

  • Details of your income sources and any benefits or pensions.

  • Information about any changes in your circumstances that may affect your tax code.

Request a Review: Request HMRC to review your tax code based on the information you provide. They may need to make adjustments if your income has changed, or if there are any other factors affecting your tax status.

Follow Up: Monitor the progress of your request with HMRC. They may require additional information or documentation to process your case.

Rectify Any Overpayment: If your incorrect tax code has led to overpaid taxes, HMRC will typically issue a refund once the error is corrected. Ensure you claim any refund owed to you promptly. If you do not receive a tax refund from HMRC, we offer a no win, no fee tax rebate service. You can use our free online Tax Rebate Calculator to see if you have overpaid.

Seek Professional Advice: If you're unsure about how to proceed or need assistance in dealing with HMRC, consider seeking advice from a tax advisor or accountant, such as us at Ultra Tax Ltd. They can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation and help ensure your tax affairs are in order.

By taking these steps, you can address and resolve issues related to an incorrect tax code effectively, ensuring you pay the correct amount of tax based on your circumstances.

Could I Be Due A Tax Rebate?

Certainly! If you find yourself on the wrong tax code due to circumstances such as changing jobs, not utilising Marriage Allowance, or having fluctuating expenses that affect your tax code adjustments, you might be eligible for a tax rebate. Here’s how these situations can lead to overpayment of Income Tax and potentially qualify you for a rebate:

Changing Jobs: When you switch jobs, your new employer may not have all the necessary information to apply the correct tax code right away. This could result in overpaying or underpaying taxes on your income until your tax code is updated.

Marriage Allowance: If you are married or in a civil partnership and your spouse is not utilising their full tax-free Personal Allowance, you may be eligible to transfer a portion of it to yourself through Marriage Allowance. Failing to claim this allowance could mean you are paying more tax than necessary.

Claiming Tax Refunds: If you have claimed tax refunds in the past for allowable expenses or other reasons, HMRC may adjust your tax code to reflect these changes. However, if these expenses vary from year to year and your tax code isn’t adjusted accordingly, it could result in overpayment of taxes.

If any of these scenarios apply to you and you believe you have overpaid Income Tax, you may indeed be due a tax rebate. Here’s how Ultra Tax Ltd can assist you:

Identification of Issues: Our specialists at Ultra Tax Ltd are trained to identify instances where clients may have been placed on incorrect tax codes, leading to potential overpayments.

Correction and Rebate Process: We work with you to correct any errors in your tax code and facilitate the process of claiming a tax rebate from HMRC, ensuring you reclaim any overpaid taxes promptly.

Expert Advice: Our team provides expert advice tailored to your specific circumstances, helping you understand your entitlements and ensuring you take advantage of all available tax-saving opportunities, such as Marriage Allowance and expense claims.

If you suspect you may be due a tax rebate or have concerns about your tax code, contact Ultra Tax Ltd today. Our dedicated tax experts are here to ensure you reclaim everything you’re owed and optimise your tax affairs for the future.

More Essential Information On Tax Codes:

What is a Tax Code?

A tax code is a series of letters and numbers used by tax authorities, such as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the United Kingdom, to determine how much income tax should be deducted from an individual's earnings or pension. It essentially represents an individual's tax allowances and indicates how much tax-free income they are entitled to receive in a given tax year. The tax code helps employers and pension providers calculate the correct amount of tax to deduct through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system.

Key Components of a Tax Code


The numbers in a tax code usually indicate the amount of tax-free income you can earn in a tax year, known as your personal allowance. For example, if your tax code is 1257L, the number 1257 means you are entitled to £12,570 of tax-free income in the tax year.


The letters in a tax code provide additional information about your tax situation. Common letters include:

L: Entitled to the standard personal allowance.

M: Married or in a civil partnership and receiving 10% of your partner’s personal allowance.

N: Married or in a civil partnership and transferring 10% of your personal allowance to your partner.

T: Used when there are other items HMRC needs to review.

BR: All income is taxed at the basic rate (20%) without any personal allowance, typically used for a second job or pension.

D0: All income is taxed at the higher rate (40%).

D1: All income is taxed at the additional rate (45%).

K: Indicates you have taxable benefits or income that exceed your personal allowance, leading to a negative tax-free amount.

How Tax Codes Are Determined

HMRC determines your tax code based on several factors, including:

Personal Allowance: The basic amount of income you're allowed to earn tax-free, which is set by the government each tax year.

Income and Benefits: All sources of income, including wages, pensions, and taxable benefits like a company car or private medical insurance.

Deductions and Reliefs: Adjustments for certain expenses or tax reliefs you may be entitled to, such as pension contributions or charitable donations.

Previous Year’s Tax Information: Information from your previous tax returns can also influence your current tax code.

Importance of Your Tax Code

Accurate Tax Deductions: Ensures that the correct amount of tax is deducted from your income throughout the year, preventing underpayment or overpayment.

Financial Planning: Helps in planning your finances by giving you a clear understanding of your net income after tax deductions.

Avoiding Penalties: Correct tax codes reduce the risk of unexpected tax bills and penalties for incorrect tax payments.

Checking and Updating Your Tax Code

It’s essential to regularly check your tax code, especially if there are changes in your income or personal circumstances, such as getting a new job, starting a pension, or receiving new benefits. HMRC typically issues tax code notifications through a document called a P2 Notice of Coding. If you believe your tax code is incorrect, you should contact HMRC to update your information and ensure your tax deductions are accurate.

Tax Codes:

A tax code is a crucial element in the tax system that ensures you pay the correct amount of income tax through the PAYE system. Understanding how your tax code is determined and what it represents can help you manage your finances more effectively and avoid potential tax issues. Regularly reviewing and updating your tax code with HMRC is an essential part of maintaining accurate and fair tax payments.

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