These are taxing times

Back in April I received an unexpected pay rise (there had been talk of it but I hadn’t expected it to actually happen given we’ve only just come out the other side of recession). I eagerly awaited my payslip and upon receipt ripped it open immediately, only to discover that’d I’d picked up less than I had done in previous months!

What had happened?! Mr Tax Man had struck.

Tax Man

Mr Tax Man

After a meeting with my (very helpful) HR department I discovered that I should have never been on the tax code which I was originally assigned as I get ‘taxable benefits’ (private healthcare). The tax code which I’d been assigned in my April pay packet was a temporary code, which is apparently assigned when the Tax Man (or Ms HMRC if you want to be PC) is ‘investigating’ something on your account (if account is the right word?!). The downside to my temporary code was that it only allowed me to earn £2360 per year before I started paying tax (my personal allowance). The ‘normal’ personal allowance for someone in my situation (not taking into account my healthcare benefit) would be £6475, so I was paying a lot more tax :(.

Luckily a phone call to a very friendly man at my local tax office and all seems to be sorted. I received my new coding notice today and hopefully my HR department has received one too, so I’m looking forward to seeing my corrected salary (and the rebate) in my pay packet soon.

Unlike the adverts I personally find tax incredibly taxing! The website www.hmrc.gov.uk offers some advice and so long as you fit into the ‘norm’ it should give you an overview on what you should be paying. If you fall outside of this a call to your Tax Office (your employer can advise you on details of your local one) may be the best way to seek clarity. Either way, make sure you check your payslip each month and if you’re not sure if you’re on the right tax code – ask – you work hard for that money, not the tax man, so make sure he’s not getting more than he’s entitled to.

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