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Your P60 explained: what is it and how do you get one?

Your P60 gives you an overview of your earnings and all the tax that you paid during the tax year.

While you might know that a P60 can help you claim a tax rebate, it's also an important document to keep for a few different non-tax reasons.

Want to know more? Here’s everything you need to know about your P60.  

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What is a P60? 

A P60 is a document containing all your yearly tax-related information.

When the tax year begins and ends, HMRC keeps a close record of your earnings, the tax and national insurance contributions you make and any statutory pay you receive.

Think of your P60 as a receipt given to you by HMRC for the tax it takes from you.  

How do I get a P60? 

A P60 is an end-of-year certificate, meaning that you’ll receive a physical copy of your P60 at the end of the tax year, which falls in early April.

You should be issued your P60 by your current employer. If you don’t receive one, you can also get your P60 information online by creating a HMRC personal tax account.  

If you’ve changed jobs during the tax year, you will only receive a P60 at the end of the tax year by your current employer.

Your former employer will only issue you with a P45, which tracks your earnings and tax status for the year up until you left that employment.

What is on a P60? 

When you receive your P60, you’ll see your gross earnings, take-home pay and the income tax you have paid.

If you’ve changed jobs during the tax year, you’ll see your gross earnings and tax paid for both jobs, as well as your yearly figures.  

Your P60 will also record the amount of national insurance you paid and how much you contributed to each national insurance threshold.

If you received any statutory pay, such as parental leave, or paid back some of your student loans, these figures will be confirmed by your P60 too.   

Learn more: Do you pay National Insurance on your pension contributions?

How does a P60 calculate your tax? 

A P60 primarily calculates your tax through keeping a record of your earnings and applying your tax code, which is issued by HMRC based on your pre-tax annual earnings.

You should also be contacted by HMRC with an explanation of why your tax code is what it is, and what you can do if it isn’t correct.

This tax code then helps to inform tax authorities exactly what level of tax you should be paying.  

What if your P60 isn’t correct? 

You can review your P60, and if something isn’t quite right, you can contact HMRC to get it changed.

If you need to change your tax code, for example, you can use HMRC’s income tax online service to request a change.  

But if you believe that you have paid more tax than you should have, and HMRC hasn’t been in contact to inform you that you will be owed a rebate, you can file a self-assessment form to claim some money back.

You will need to apply for your rebate after the tax year has ended by using an online self-assessment form or a physical copy, which can be posted.  

While HMRC can automatically detect and correct some tax inaccuracies, responsibility normally falls on you to correct any issues with your P60, so it’s important to act fast to avoid any penalties.

If some of your P60 details aren’t correct, and you haven’t yet been taxed, you should first speak to your payroll department or responsible individual to get your details changed.

If you have already been taxed, you’ll need to get in contact with HMRC.  

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Why do you need a P60? 

A P60 is an extremely important document to keep hold of, and it’s recommended that you keep at least four years’ worth of P60s as evidence of your earnings and tax status.

This is so that if, for whatever reason, you need to prove your tax status to HMRC or need to resolve a query, you have enough evidence to resolve any issues and confirm your tax status.  

You can also be asked to produce your P60 if you’re applying for credit, such as with a mortgage, or need to provide proof of earnings for a rental property.

Having a few years’ worth of P60s can give assurance and confidence to anybody who may be lending you money or is entering a detailed financial arrangement with you. 

How to get a P60 if you are self-employed 

As a P60 is issued by an employer, you may not receive one if you are self-employed.

If you need to provide four years’ worth of earnings, you can instead use an SA302 document which you can download from the HMRC website 72 hours after sending your tax return.  

What if you lose your P60? 

HMRC will only issue you with one physical copy of your P60, meaning that if you don’t receive it or lose it, you won’t be able to get a physical reissue.

However, you can still access your P60 information through your online personal tax account. Alternatively, you can also ring HMRC directly to find out your P60 information.  

Do I get a P60 when I’m retired? 

Your P60 keeps a record of your taxable income, so if any retirement funds or pensions you’re using to support your retirement are taxable, you will still receive a P60.

So, if you receive a state or private pension, you will receive a P60 from your provider documenting any taxable income.  

Your pension provider will dedeuct any tax you owe before paying you, and also take off any tax you owe on your state pension.

If you receive payments from more than one pension provider, HMRC will ask one of your providers to deduct tax off your state pension.

Whether you need help organising your finances or need to speak to an expert who can help you reach your money goals, an independent financial adviser can help you manage your finances effectively.

Find your next adviser with Unbiased.  

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About the author
Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.