I started a new job back in August and was placed on an emergency tax code for the first couple of months which resulted in paying more tax than I "should".

The tax code was rectified in October but, due to a system error was reverted back to an emergency tax code for November's payroll which has meant I've been stopped £300 more tax than I should be.

Can my employer rectify this error by transferring me the £300 that was incorrectly stopped as tax? Having spoken to Payroll they said that they "don’t have any more pay runs" to correct the error.

  • 2
    What country? There may be regulations requiring timely payment of wages. I suggest discussing the matter with your own manager. Nov 29, 2017 at 11:57
  • I've edited your question to try and bring it in line with the requirements for on-topic questions here. I've tried to preserve the core question you are asking but you can rollback the edit or perform one of your own if you aren't happy with it.
    – motosubatsu
    Nov 29, 2017 at 14:00
  • did you provide a p45 if not being put on emergency code is not uncommon In the UK Jan 16, 2019 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


The reason this is such a headache is because it's not that they haven't paid you but that they have stopped you an incorrect amount of tax.

They can't just transfer you the £300 and call it quits because from the point of view of HMRC (I'm assuming you are in the UK with your use of £) that would be an additional payment to you..which would in of itself be subject to (you guessed it) tax.

It does sound like it was their error and you are likely owed that £300 - but in a legal sense it is now HRMC that "owe" you that money not the business. Depending upon where they are in the company's financial year there are potentially things they can do with payroll processes to balance it out because once your tax code is corrected on the next payroll run it will recalculate the tax so that the correct amount is paid over the year (i.e. you will pay less tax until the overpayment from the emergency code is cancelled out) but making payments outside of the payroll process complicates this massively (and HRMC don't really like it)

EDIT: One solution the company could do is they could "loan" you the money against future earnings (essentially an advance) - the threshold for beneficial loans before they get taxed etc is £10,000 so as long as they don't loan you another £9,300 in this financial year there's no further implications or liabilities.

  • 3
    Good answer. Try asking for an advance on your next paycheck, then you have money for rent etc. and payroll can exchange the advance for the refund on your next paycheck resulting in no differences.
    – Rob
    Nov 29, 2017 at 14:12
  • 5
    Note that this money is not lost you will get it back when the company runs with the correct tax info or if they still screw up you claim it back from HMRC when you do your tax return
    – mmmmmm
    Nov 29, 2017 at 14:13
  • 1
    You can also ask them to pay for a tax preparer to ensure no other mistakes were made.
    – DTRT
    Nov 29, 2017 at 16:32
  • @Johns-305 wouldn't apply in the UK Jan 16, 2019 at 21:51
  • @Neuromancer Are you saying that HMRC can keep overpayments...just...because? Maybe the UK is wildly different, but in the US, your tax liability isn't affected by withholding amounts. If you overpay, you get a refund.
    – DTRT
    Jan 16, 2019 at 22:10

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