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What is a BR Tax Code? What Does Tax Code BR Mean?

Updated: Jul 13

Understanding the BR Tax Code | Tax Code BR Explained

Understanding your tax code is essential to ensure you're paying the right amount of tax. One tax code you might come across is the BR tax code. But what does tax code BR mean? Or ‘emergency tax’ as you might know it.

what does tax code br mean?

Tax Code BR Meaning

The BR tax code stands for "Basic Rate." If you're on a BR tax code, it means all your income from this source will be taxed at the basic rate of 20%, with no personal allowance considered. This can result in overpaying tax, especially if you have multiple sources of income or if this is your only job.

When is the BR Tax Code Applied?

The BR tax code is typically applied in the following situations:

Second Job: If you have more than one job simultaneously, your second job may use the BR tax code. This is because HMRC applies your personal allowance to your main job, and subsequent employments are taxed at the basic rate to avoid underpayment.

Pension: If you receive a pension and are also employed, your pension income might be taxed using the BR rate. This ensures that the correct amount of tax is deducted without relying on your personal allowance.

Employer Information: Sometimes, your employer may not have all the necessary information to assign the correct tax code initially. In such cases, they might use the BR tax code temporarily until they receive updated information from HMRC.

Example of PAYE Tax on Tax Code BR

Imagine you earn £30,000 a year and are on the BR tax code. Your employer will deduct a straight 20% from your gross income, which means you’ll pay £6,000 in tax. This doesn't take into account your personal allowance, so you might be paying too much tax. Use our free online Tax Rebate Calculator to check.

How Much Tax Will You Pay on a BR Tax Code?

With a BR tax code, you will pay 20% tax on all your earnings from that job or pension. This is the basic rate of tax. It does not take into account any personal allowances, which means you could be taxed more than you should be. Use our free online Tax Rebate Calculator to instantly find out whether you have paid more tax than you should have.

Is BR an Emergency Tax Code? Understanding Tax Code BR

Yes, the BR tax code can indeed be used as an emergency tax code under certain circumstances. This designation occurs when HMRC or your employer lacks complete information about your income, necessitating the temporary use of the BR tax code until your correct tax code can be accurately determined.

is br tax code emergency tax

Why is BR Used as an Emergency Tax Code?

Incomplete Information: When HMRC or your employer does not possess all the necessary details regarding your income, they may default to the BR tax code. This ensures that tax deductions are made at the basic rate of 20% on all income from that particular source without factoring in any personal allowances.

Temporary Measure: Using the BR tax code as an emergency measure allows HMRC or your employer to avoid underpayment of tax while they await further information to allocate the appropriate tax code. This temporary use helps maintain compliance with tax regulations and ensures that you are contributing towards your tax liabilities accurately.

Implications of Being on BR as an Emergency Tax Code

Potential Overpayment: Since the BR tax code does not consider personal allowances or specific tax reliefs that you may be entitled to, there is a risk of overpaying tax. This can occur especially if BR is applied to your only job or main source of income.

Resolution Process: To rectify being on the BR emergency tax code, it's important to provide HMRC or your employer with any missing information promptly. This might include details about additional income, tax allowances, or changes in employment circumstances.

How to Change My BR Tax Code: Steps and Advice

If you believe you’re on the wrong tax code, such as the BR tax code, taking proactive steps to correct it can help ensure you’re paying the correct amount of tax. Here’s a detailed guide on how to change your BR tax code:

Check Your Tax Code Notice

Start by reviewing the tax code notice sent by HMRC. This document outlines the tax code assigned to you based on the information available to HMRC. The notice will explain why HMRC have put you onto the BR Tax Code. Check for accuracy and ensure it reflects your current circumstances.

Contact HMRC About Your Tax Code

If you find that your tax code is incorrect or needs updating, contact HMRC directly. Provide them with accurate information about your income, employment status, and any other relevant details. HMRC will use this information to adjust your tax code accordingly. We have listed HMRC Contact Numbers for you here.

Update Your Employer With Your New Tax Code

Ensure that your employer has the correct tax code for you. Once HMRC updates your tax code, inform your employer promptly to ensure that the correct deductions are made from your salary moving forward.

Why Understanding Tax Code BR is Important

Understanding the implications of the BR tax code is crucial for managing your tax affairs effectively and avoiding overpayment. Here’s why it matters:

Avoid Overpaying Tax: The BR tax code applies a flat rate of 20% without considering personal allowances. Being on this code when you’re entitled to allowances or a different tax rate could lead to overpaying tax unnecessarily.

Check and Correct Your BR Tax Code

If you discover that you’re on the BR tax code and believe it’s incorrect, take action promptly. Contact HMRC to review and update your tax code to ensure accuracy and compliance with your tax obligations. We have listed HMRC Contact Numbers for you here.

What is the Difference Between BR Tax Code and D0 Tax Code?

The main difference between the BR (Basic Rate) tax code and the D0 tax code lies in how they are applied to different types of income and their respective tax rates:

br tax code vs d0 tax code

BR Tax Code (Basic Rate):

Tax Rate: Income under the BR tax code is taxed at the basic rate of 20%.

Application: It is typically used when all income from a particular source is subject to the basic rate of tax, without any personal allowances being applied. This often happens in scenarios where an individual has multiple sources of income or when an employer does not have complete information to apply a different tax code.

Implications: Being on the BR tax code may result in overpaying tax if you are entitled to personal allowances or if it applies to your primary income source.

D0 Tax Code:

Tax Rate: Income under the D0 tax code is taxed at the higher rate of 40%.

Application: The D0 tax code is typically used for individuals who have multiple sources of income that push them into the higher rate tax bracket. It ensures that the correct rate of tax (40%) is applied to income above the basic rate threshold.

Implications: If your income from a particular source exceeds the higher rate threshold (currently £50,270 for the 2024/25 tax year), you may be placed on the D0 tax code for that income. This could result in a higher tax liability compared to the BR tax code.

BR Tax Code Vs. D0 Tax Code Summary:

The BR tax code applies a 20% tax rate to income without personal allowances.

The D0 tax code applies a 40% tax rate to income that exceeds the higher rate threshold.

Understanding which tax code applies to your income sources is crucial for accurate tax planning and compliance. If you have multiple income streams or are uncertain about your tax code, consulting with HMRC or a tax advisor can help ensure you are taxed correctly based on your circumstances.

Tax Code Tax Rebates:

Could You Be Due a Tax Rebate?

Discovering that you’ve been on the wrong tax code, such as BR, may entitle you to a tax rebate if you’ve overpaid tax. Here are scenarios where you might be due a tax refund:

Multiple Jobs

If you hold multiple jobs and one of them has applied the BR tax code incorrectly, you may have paid too much tax across your income sources.

Incorrect or Outdated Tax Code

An incorrect or outdated tax code could result in overpayment of tax. Checking and updating your tax code with HMRC ensures you’re paying the correct amount based on your circumstances.

Unclaimed Allowances

Failing to claim allowances such as the Marriage Allowance or work-related expenses can lead to higher tax payments than necessary. Ensure you’re aware of all applicable allowances to optimise your tax position.

How Ultra Tax Ltd Can Help You With Your Tax Codes and Tax Rebates

At Ultra Tax Ltd, we specialise in resolving tax code issues and assisting clients in claiming tax rebates they’re entitled to. Here’s how our expertise can benefit you:

Expert Review and Correction

Our tax experts will review your tax situation, identify any errors in your tax code application, and ensure it is corrected promptly with HMRC.

Claiming Overpaid Tax

If you suspect you’ve overpaid tax due to an incorrect tax code like BR, we’ll assist you in claiming back any money owed to you through the tax rebate process. You can use our free online Tax Rebate Calculator to instantly get an estimate of your Tax Rebate.

Proactive Tax Management

We provide proactive tax advice to ensure you understand your tax code implications and maximise tax efficiency within the legal framework.

BR Tax Code Summarised

Understanding and managing your tax code, especially the BR tax code, is essential for accurate tax payments and potentially claiming tax rebates. If you believe you’re on the wrong tax code or suspect you’ve overpaid tax, taking action with HMRC and seeking professional assistance can help rectify the situation effectively.

For personalised advice on tax codes or assistance with claiming tax rebates, contact Ultra Tax Ltd today. We’re here to ensure your tax affairs are in order and you’re paying the correct amount of tax owed under UK tax laws.

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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