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You will not be liable to pay any tax if your earnings are under your tax free personal allowance.

Usually, if you do not work for an entire tax year, then there is a risk that you may overpay tax. This is because the tax system tries to spread your tax payments on your earnings over a tax year, which means your tax allowances will also be spread. If you start or leave work during a tax year, then you may overpay tax and a refund may be due.

The first approach you should take, is to prevent overpaying tax altogether. STS suggests you should follow the steps below depending on your circumstances.

If you prefer to work during your holiday periods between term times, then the following applies to you.

The Inland Revenue will not deduct tax if you do not expect to earn more than the tax free allowance. In order to take advantage of this relief, you need to complete form P38s and hand it to your employer. This form, once submitted to the lnland Revenue, will ensure that your employer and the Inland Revenue recognise that you are a student and therefore apply the correct tax relief and rates.

Please note this only applies if you work during holiday periods. If your work straddles the term time, then you will be taxed in a different way, see below.

Form P38s can be downloaded from our resources page »

If you do start any part time or casual work (this includes weekend work) during term time, then you will be taxed in the usual way. This means you must provide your employer with either form P45 or P46. You will only have a P45 if you previously worked for another employer and have now left.

At the time of leaving, your employer will have issued you with a P45. If this is the case, then you must hand the form to your new employer, so that, they can deduct the correct amount of tax against your wages. Your P45 will only be needed by your new employer if it has been issued in the same tax year in which you start your new job.

If you do not have a P45, you should complete form P46 and hand it back to your new employer. Your employer will use the information on this form to calculate the correct amount of tax to deduct from your wages.

Forms P46 can be downloaded from our resources page »



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