P2 tax code letter from HMRC if you are an employee

Updated on 13 August 2020


Are you an employee and in need of help to understand your tax code and check that it is correct? Here we provide an example of a coding notice and explain some of the jargon and what the various numbers mean.

Just click on the red areas of the form for more detailed information, tips on how to check the details are correct and if not, what to do next. 

For mobile users who do not have the PDF plugin or those who wish to print this document, we provide a separate P2 coding notice (employee) form with annotation.


If you have a new tax code your take home pay from your employment may change. It may increase or reduce. You must check that the code is correct, otherwise you may not pay the right amount of tax by the end of the tax year.


This figure is the total of the ‘allowances’ you are entitled to less any ‘restrictions’ or ‘adjustments’. To check it is correct, consider all the following:

a) allowances – Check that you have been given the correct allowances.

b) restrictions – Check if you have any taxable state benefits, for example carers allowance and state pension. If so, is the right amount of benefit included?

c) adjustments – These are usually for estimated amounts of additional tax that you owe. If you have an adjustment it is because HMRC believe you have an underpayment from either an earlier year or this year that they are going to collect using your tax code this tax year. It isn’t actually the amount you owe. The amount you owe is shown at E (on page 2 of the coding notice – you may need to scroll down to see this). Check that you had an underpayment of this amount, if not contact HMRC.


Are all your employments and/or pensions listed here? If not, contact HMRC.

Do the tax codes shown here agree to the tax code shown on your payslips or payment advice letters?

Note – check the date of the coding notice and compare it to payslip and payment advice dates, as changes might not be processed until the next payment period. If your new code is not being used by your employer, you might need to contact them to find out why. If they have not received the new code, you might need to contact HMRC.


This is an underpayment from either an earlier year or this year. Check that you agree with this figure, if not contact HMRC.

◀ PAYE: starter checklist

P2 tax code letter: pension

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